European solar industry association SolarPower Europe has published a new analysis predicting that global solar market demand will reach 100 gigawatts for the first time ever this year, a 30% growth from 2016 levels.
SolarPower Europe, the region’s member-led solar association, published its latest market analysis for annual global solar power demand, which it predicts will reach 100 gigawatts (GW) for the first time ever in 2017. This represents a 30% growth from 2016 solar power demand levels when 76.6 GW was connected to the grid.
“It is good to see the growing deployment and political support for solar power, the most versatile and clean form of energy that is now also the lowest-cost for power generation in most countries of the world,” said Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe.
This is not the first time that analysts have predicted 2017 solar demand levels will near or reach 100 GW this year, but this late in the year the validity of the prediction grows. In July, GTM Research predicted that global solar power demand would exceed 80 GW for the first time, whereas in September EnergyTrend published an analysis which predicted China’s demand would help push total global demand over the 100 GW mark.
Published this week, SolarPower Europe’s new analysis predicts that China alone has already installed around 42 GW worth of new solar capacity in the first nine months of the year, and will likely add more than 50 GW for the whole year — a 45% growth over the 34.5 GW installed during 2016. Europe and Japan are both expected to add at least 7.5 GW in 2017, the United States around 12 GW, and India around 10 GW.
“In just two and a half years, the average prices in German auctions for solar power have decreased by nearly 50% to only 4.91 euro cents per kWh — and in Spain solar just won an impressive 4 GW in the national clean energy tender,” said Thomas Doering, Policy Advisor and analyst in SolarPower Europe’s Market Intelligence Team. “The time has never been better to invest in solar in Europe and beyond.”
“Solar is the fastest growing source of new energy and the most popular energy technology amongst Europeans,” added James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe. “This serves as a reminder to European policymakers to raise their solar ambitions. On the EU level we need at least a 35% renewable energy target by 2030. If we take advantage of this opportunity, we will see more jobs and investments in solar across the continent, and in turn, solar demand will grow again in Europe.”