Emerging Technologies in Solar Power Market

Global Industry Analysis (2017 - 2020) - Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2021 - 2025)

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Industry: Energy & Natural Resources | Author Name: Hrishikesh

Massive Expansion of Solar Power Capacities Underway

The solar power market has become one of the leading markets on the back of growing consumer preference, and consequently falling prices. In 2019, the cumulative solar power installed capacity stood at 627 gigawatts (GW) globally. More than 125 GW is planned between 2021 and 2025. Global solar energy has reached the capacity of more than 180 GW and with robust government support, the extension of the investment tax credit have made solar power market experience a huge upswing. Cost competitiveness, emergence of reliable technologies, and efficient improvements will increase the demand for the photovoltaic solar power systems and emerging technologies in solar power market. Solar power generation comprises an end-to-end process from manufacturing of components, and module production, to installation, operation, and maintenance. Solar power generation is not only the task but also requires an efficient training and consulting to produce and use the solar energy along with publishing and financing, which is the major prerequisite for solar power generation.

Installations See an Upswing with Solid Government Support and Consumer Inclination Towards Energy Saving

Globally, the penetration of renewable energy alternatives has increased considerably, solar power being among the top sought-after of all of them. Rapid growth in the demand for several solar technology systems is supported by reduced costs, subsidies, and robust government support. Costs of manufacturing and installation of solar systems have substantially decreased over the last 20 years; however, a further drop is still needed in order to compete with other alternative energy resources. As the global economy grows, more energy would be required to match the demand-supply gap. Stringent emission regulations, coupled with strong government support and funding pouring in the development of innovative and economical solar technological systems, is expected to drive the market for emerging technologies in solar power.

However, high initial capital investments in the establishment and installation of several facilities are restricting the market pace. The power output delivered by solar technologies is still low for utility-scale connection in several commercial, residential, and industrial requirements. Thus, the industry’s major power lies within the buyer’s side. Since the awareness is very low; only a small part of the residential segment (high-end residential consumers) continues to be the proactive consumer group. Industrial customers are still utilising a bulk of natural gas or crude oil for their power requirements. There are many renewable energy resources such as wind energy, wave and tidal energy, hydroelectric energy, and biomass energy, which possess greater potential than solar energy. Facing stiff competition from these renewables, solar power is beginning to move towards the future R&D investments to bring down the overall costs to a viable level. However, solar power has started to replace the fossil fuel share and is growing at a decently high rate compared to other substitutes. This is likely to drive investments in the emerging technologies in solar power market.

High Penetration of Solar Photovoltaics Technology Supports Market Growth

The growth of photovoltaics (PVs) market is primarily driven by governments announcing subsidies to build the future with clean and green energy. Bidding process for PV projects is in high demand along with the tender mechanism. Most of the countries having high demand, high price of electricity and high irradiation are funding photovoltaic projects and signing power-purchase agreements (PPA) with local electricity consumers. Moreover, soaring demand for electricity, and rising public awareness and support for clean and green energy alternatives, lead to tax incentives and boosted investments in solar power. This has been resulting in a gradual drop in the equipment cost. In photovoltaic power plants, silicon and germanium are used, which are exposed to radiations; from one material, electrons absorb photons and combine with the other material. PV solar power plants have a long life of approximately 25 years and the output starts decreasing gradually over the time. A 1MW solar power plant generates approximately 1.5 million units of energy.

Solar thermal energy plant is the second category of solar power plants that uses concentrators instead of PV cells. The cost of installation of photovoltaic solar power plants is more economical than that of the concentrated solar power plants. In the coming years, the hybrid technology, which would combine both photovoltaic and concentrated will be more efficient and useful. By the year 2015, more than 50 GW installation was done, to generate solar PV power of capacity of roughly 230 GW, which signifies an increase of 30%.

Asia Pacific to Lead in Terms of Yearly Installed Capacity

In 2020, Asia Pacific led the adoption of emerging technologies in solar power market. The region reigns supreme in installation of solar systems - either off-grid or on-grid utility scale. The region stood at 330 GW of cumulative installed capacity and China remains the largest market in the region with nearly 206 GW of cumulative installations, followed by Japan, India, and South Korea. China, India, and a few other economies are emphasizing efficient solar power utilisation. The growth of market in these countries is receiving a major boost from industrialisation and rapid infrastructural developments.

In North America, the US leads in terms of yearly installation of solar power. In 2019, close to 60 GW solar power was installed in the US alone, whereas Europe had 138 GW of installed solar power with 130 GW of it installed only in the European Union. With 50 GW installed capacity, Germany leads the European market, followed by Italy, the UK, France, and Spain. In the Middle East & Africa, UAE, and Israel are the key adopters of solar power technologies. Africa's cumulative total reached 6.4 GW at the end of 2019. The year-on-year increase in solar power capacity additions in developing and under-developed nations is expected to benefit the demand for solar power. This is likely to drive the growth of the emerging technologies in solar power market.

Global Emerging Technologies in Solar Power Market: Competitive Landscape

The emerging technologies in solar power market is highly competitive on the back of strong presence of the numerous players offering cutting-edge solar power solutions. High penetration of Chinese players offering solutions lower than the global average cost has increased the adoption of solar power in both residential, and industrial sectors.

Some of the key players in the global emerging technologies in solar power market include First Solar Inc., Trina Solar, JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd, JA Solar Co. Ltd., SunPower Corporation, SolarEdge Technologies Inc., GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited, Canadian Solar Inc., Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd., and Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd. Recently, JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. has delivered close to 70 GW of solar power projects with annual orders of more than 8,000. In December 2020, the company built a vertically integrated solar product value chain, with an integrated annual capacity of 64 GW for mono wafers, solar cells, and solar modules.

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