Capital expenditure for the global solar PV industry will grow by almost 25% on 2017 levels and punch through the $10 billion mark, returning to levels not seen since 2010 and 2011, according to one of the solar industry’s leading experts, Solar Media’s Finlay Colville.
Finlay Colville, currently serving as Solar Media’s Head of Solar Intelligence after joining the company from his position as VP and head of solar at NPD Solarbuzz for years, is widely regarded as one of the leading experts and authorities on the global solar PV industry. In a piece published earlier this week, Colville predicted that capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the global solar PV market — which covers investments into ingot, wafer, cell and module capacity — will grow by almost 25% in 2018 to in excess of $10 billion, returning to levels that we haven’t seen since 2010 and 2011.
Of particular interest is PV solar’s return to a 7-year high following a slow growth back from its collapse back in 2012 and 2013. Colville expects 2018 will mark the fifth year of consecutive spending growth, driven primarily by Chinese-based investments across the entire Crystalline silicon (c-Si) value-chain which is currently seeing mult-GW (gigawatt) level expansion plans play out across leading PV manufacturers.
Elsewhere, according to Colville, “With the exception of First Solar (and its thin-film capex), the rest of the PV industry outside China is largely in the noise, often playing with loose change to sustain loss-making operations.”
“If you thought Chinese investments were calling the shots in the PV industry until now, just wait until the end of 2018!”
Solar module supply is expected to continue to expand “at unprecedented rates” in 2018, with expectations that it could easily reach or even surpass the 120 gigawatt mark. Colville also spares a moment to throw a well-deserved shot across the bow of some who refuse to acknowledge the growth of the solar industry, dismissing “the typical doom-and-gloom seen by many industry observers at the start of 2018, all of whom have been getting market forecasts wrong for years now.”
For the full piece and Colville’s further analysis about the solar PV industry in 2018, head on over to PV Tech to read the whole piece.