In the last few years we are experiencing a continuous decrease of solar photovoltaic projects’ investment costs and a long term trend of fossil fuel price increase. Solar PV gained momentum in Europe a few years ago as a result of big price subsidies, while the price decrease and the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima further pushed for renewable energy installations.
Total solar photovoltaic installations are expected to increase up to 600 GW from the approx. 122 GW of yearend 2012 to 2020 according to a recent market outlook of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In the next decade, the installation would triple and exceed 1,800 GW by 2030. While Europe has almost 2/3 of the installed solar PV capacity in 2012, its share is down to 20% by 2030 mainly as a result of big solar investments in China, US, Japan and Middle East.
To put this to perspective, the 122 GW of solar PV capacity is around 0.3% of total installed capacity in the world, while the 1,800 GW could reach 6% of total installed capacities worldwide.
The PV market is expected to attract as much as 140 billion US dollar a year by 2020. Investments will go to both utility and household scale – at a continuously decreasing unit investment cost providing a huge potential to market participants including EPCs and module manufacturers as well as residential customers.