Solar industry revenue to drop to $92 billion in 2012 from $110 billion in 2011

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Solar industry revenue to drop to $92 billion in 2012 from $110 billion in 2011

Greentech Lead Asia: Global solar industry revenue is
expected to drop to $92 billion in 2012 from $110 billion in 2011 due
to crashing prices.

In 2011, the increase in solar installation was 66
percent to 26.5 GW. In 2012, solar installations will grind to a near halt
adding 0.4 GW, totaling 26.9 GW of new installations.

New installations will rebound to 38.3 GW in 2017 as the
industry learns to navigate a global market fast losing its subsidies,
according to a Lux Research report.

A supply glut, caused mainly by Chinese manufacturers,
speculation of incentive cuts in Europe and the end of the 1603 Cash Grant in
the U.S., fueled the sharp growth in installations last year.

“The solar industry’s storied history has created a
massive misperception of technology maturity and commodity status,” said
Matthew Feinstein, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report.

Emerging markets more than quadruple in
size. Emerging markets will be both a battleground for suppliers and a
source of great strength with South Asia accounting for the majority of growth,
rising from 1 GW in 2011 to 4.5 GW in 2017. However, ASEAN, Africa and South
America take the reins from 2017 to 2022, hurtling toward gigawatt status.

Utility-scale application segment grows. In large
emerging markets like China, utility-scale solar will gain as conditions favor
fewer, larger-scale projects that allow more control over financing and regulatory
factors. This segment will grow from 6.3 GW globally in 2011 to 13.8 GW in

Oversupply still a possibility. Even the boom of
2011 was not sufficient to utilize all of the world’s module capacity, which
reached 50 GW and pushed prices down to $1/W. With China’s 12th Five-Year plan
calling for major expansions in solar capacity, global markets will still see
strong downward price pressure.

Securitization boosts smaller installations. Asset-backed
securities are spurring growth of the small-scale segment in the U.S.
residential and commercial markets. Securitization and renewable bonds, which
have been tested in the past by SunPower (in Italy), and Wells Fargo (in New
Jersey), are likely to see widespread growth in 2012 or 2013. Expect major
commercial banks like Citigroup to lead this effort.


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