Solar PV 2018 CAPEX To Grow 25% & Surpass $10 Billion, Says Finlay Colville

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

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.

In deference to Colville and the piece originally published on PV Tech I won’t simply recount the whole thing, but instead I’ll just touch on some of the highlights.

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.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

Joshua S Hill has 4403 posts and counting. See all posts by Joshua S Hill