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Global Solar PV Module Capacity To More Than Treble By 2020

New figures released by GlobalData predict that the global cumulative installed capacity of solar PV modules will more than treble by 2020.

The company’s latest report, Solar PV Module Value Chain – Market Size, Average Price, Market Share and Key Country Analysis to 2020, states that emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region, South and Central America, and the Middle East and Africa, are expected to grow into major markets over the next few years, “due to an increasing focus on renewable energy proliferation to fuel economic growth.”

GlobalData’s figures show PV module capacity growing from 135.66 GW in 2013 to 413.98 GW in 2020, based on a number of factors, including volume trends, average price, and production share.

“Asia-Pacific is home to many developing countries, including India and China, where substantial installations are being made,” explains Swati Singh, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Power. “The region is also a leading area for solar energy systems production, with Japan, China and Taiwan being three of the largest solar PV cell manufacturers in the world.

“Governments in the region are promoting solar module manufacturing through various long-term policies, financial incentives, subsidies and tax benefits. This strong commitment to solar energy development has led to numerous research and development initiatives and increased solar module production and installations, which will drive future market growth.”

That emerging markets are going to be playing a more and more important role in the growing renewable energy industry is not news. The landmark Climatescope 2014 report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in October highlighted this very fact, pointing to 55 emerging markets throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.


A subsequent analysis published by the Carbon Tracker Initiative confronted claims by Peabody Energy (the world’s largest publicly traded coal company) that coal, rather than renewable energy, was Africa’s way out of energy poverty. CTI made it very clear that coal was a dead-end for Africa, and only renewable energy could provide the energy independence and economic growth the continent so desperately needs — without any of the infrastructure issues inherent in coal.

The GlobalData report also pointed to the growing instability in more traditional renewable energy countries.

“Prior to 2013, most solar PV installations were in Europe, with Italy, Germany, Spain and France accounting for the majority of global annual installations in 2012,” said Singh.

“Reduced solar PV module prices, combined with European countries’ Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidies, have supported the widespread growth of small-scale distributed capacity there. However, GlobalData believes that these tariffs are likely to become less generous in subsequent years, with the reduction or removal of incentives having already been proposed and implemented in some of the region’s countries.”

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