The global solar energy market size was USD 72.16 billion in 2017 as a consequence of increased demand for electricity from industrial and residential sectors. Growing concerns over rising greenhouse gas emissions owing to electricity generation from non-renewable resources are expected to be the key factor behind the increased solar energy market value.
Global Solar Energy Market Value and Volume, 2015-2025 (MW) (USD Billion)
Another major driving factor is the increasing investment in solar power, resulting from a decline in the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar PV. For instance, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) recently reported that the weighted cost of utility-scale solar energy had fallen to USD 0.10 per kWh in 2017 for new projects.
The Paris Agreement, a framework within the (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)), a step to combat rapid climate change globally is a key driving factor for the global solar energy market growth. To tackle climate change, 195 countries have come up together to be a part of the agreement. As per the signed agreement, countries are taking measures to control global warming by adopting sustainable development and vision of a low carbon and climate resilient future. For instance, in 2017, the Alberta government introduced giving rebates to the people who switch to solar energy. This will reduce the cost of solar energy by 30%.
The conversion of energy from the sun into thermal or electrical energy using various technologies such as solar photovoltaic cells and concentrated solar power is the fundamental concept in solar energy generation. Solar energy is the cleanest and abundantly available inexhaustible energy source is being harnessed for a wide range of applications.
Among the majorly adopted technologies, solar photovoltaics (PV) segment dominated the industry accounting for 80.4% of the global solar energy market share in 2017. Developing countries are contributing significantly to the global solar energy market growth as solar PV is seen as a cost-effective solution for increasing electricity production and providing energy access to all. The market is largely driven by government policies and the significant cost reductions in the PV modules leading to the availability of cheaper electricity across the globe.
Installed capacities of concentrated solar power (CSP) are relatively small due to high prices as compared to solar photovoltaics (PV). However, since the past few years, a number of countries have started building new CSP projects. Spain has had the maximum number of CSP installations in 2016 followed by the U.S. Increasing support for CSP installations in the form of legislative policies in countries with limited oil & gas reserves and a need for energy storage is set to drive the market growth in the coming years.
Thin-film solar panels, which constituted 7.8% of the revenue share in 2017, is expected to remain a lucrative segment during the forecast period. These solar panels are lightweight, flexible and adaptable owing to which they find applications in residential roof-top and commercial segment. This gives them a higher preference over monocrystalline silicon and polycrystalline silicon solar panels.
Various technological advancements in the development of thin-film solar cells are expected to help in reducing the prices of thin-film solar panels and serve as an opportunity for the global solar energy industry growth over the next few years. For instance, in August 2018, UCLA Samueli School of Engineering scientists developed a highly effective thin-film solar cell capable of producing more energy owing to its double-layer design.
Solar energy is utilized across the residential, commercial and utility-scale sectors. The installed capacity in the residential sector stood at 50.47 GW in 2017. The net metering policy has positively impacted the residential installations across the globe. Additionally, this policy has helped consumers monitor and regulate their own energy supply along with storing the surplus power in energy grids for future consumption, thus, reducing the dependence on electricity supply and electricity bills. For instance, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), public agencies and schools in California will save USD 2.5 billion in electricity costs with the help of net metering over the next 30 years.
Lack of viable financing options has been an issue for residential installations. Government support to overcome this issue is another driver behind the growth of this segment. In July 2018, the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) of India announced a subsidy of ?15,000 (~USD 237) per kW that will be providing residential customers installations of rooftop solar projects in the state. Such governmental initiatives are expected to be the prime factors driving the adoption of solar power to meet the electricity consumption demands and boost the global solar energy market value.
Global Solar Energy Market Value Share, by Application, 2017 (%)
The solar energy market trends vary across the regions. Asia Pacific was the largest market for solar energy in 2017 accounting for approximately 40.3% of the global industry revenues and close to 50% of the global installations. According to the United Nations, Asia Pacific has been exhibiting the fastest rising energy demand patterns in the world. Renewable energy growth in Asia Pacific has outpaced Europe and the U.S. due to the significant growth in installations in China and India. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), China installed 53 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic capacity in 2017. The increasing air pollution levels in the country have led to an increase in the installations of the solar energy systems. Another major factor driving the Asia Pacific market is the surge in solar power investments. China invested USD 86.5 billion in the solar power sector in 2017.
Apart from this, lower prices of solar energy in comparison to other power sources have led to its adoption in the Middle East & Africa region. The growing demand for energy coupled with government support for renewables makes this region a lucrative marketplace for solar energy.
The competitive landscape of the global solar energy market is highly fragmented with a large number of regional and global players including Tata Power Solar Systems Limited, First Solar, Inc., Trina Solar Limited, Yingli Solar, Acciona Energia, S.A., Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd., SunPower Corporation and Canadian Solar Inc. New product launches, expansion and acquisition are some of the key strategies undertaken by the manufacturers leading to the growth of the overall market. For instance, in March 2018, Canadian Solar Inc. announced the acquisition of a solar photovoltaic (PV) project of total capacity 97.6 MWp in Cafayate, Salta Province, Argentina.
Solar Energy Market Scope
|Forecast Unit||Value (USD)|
|Revenue forecast in 2025||USD 222.41 billion|
|Segment Covered||Technology,Panel,Application, Regions|
|Regions Covered||North America, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa|
|Key Players Profiled||Tata Power Solar Systems Limited, First Solar, Inc., Trina Solar Limited, Yingli Solar, Acciona Energia, S.A., Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd., SunPower Corporation and Canadian Solar Inc.|
Key segments of the global solar energy market
Technology Overview, 2015-2025 (MW) (USD Million)
- Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
- Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP)
Panel Overview, 2015-2025 (MW) (USD Million)
- Monocrystalline Silicon
- Polycrystalline Silicon
- Thin Film
Application Overview, 2015-2025 (MW) (USD Million)
Regional Overview, 2015-2025 (MW) (USD Million)
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of APAC
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- Rest of MEA
Reasons for the study
- The purpose of the study is to give an exhaustive outlook of the global solar energy market
- While studying the market, we observed that solar photovoltaic (PV) segment is gaining traction due to decline in the prices of the solar panels across the globe.
- Solar energy market in Asia Pacific has been mainly driven by the declining PV module prices and the favorable government policies to support the growth of solar energy in the region.
- The global solar energy market is projected to witness lucrative opportunity in developing regions such as Latin America and Middle East & Africa on account of growing solar energy installations in Israel, Algeria, Brazil among others.
What does the report include?
- The study on the global solar energy market includes qualitative factors such as drivers, trends, and opportunities
- Additionally, the market has been evaluated using the value chain and Porter’s Five Forces’ analysis and PESTEL analysis
- The study covers qualitative and quantitative analysis of the market segmented on the basis of type, application and region. Moreover, the study provides similar information for the key geographies.
- Actual market sizes and forecasts have been provided for all the above-mentioned segments
- The study includes the profiles of key players in the market with a significant global and/or regional presence
Who should buy this report?
This study is suitable for industry participants and stakeholders in the solar energy market, who want an in-depth insight into the movement of the solar energy market. The report will benefit:
- Executives of solar energy manufacturing companies that are engaged in the solar energy production and distribution
- Managers within financial institutions looking to publish recent and forecasted statistics pertaining to solar energy market
- Venture capitalists and investors looking for more information on the future outlook of the global solar energy market
- Government organizations, regulatory authorities, policymakers and financial organizations looking for innovative solutions for producing energy
- Analysts, researchers, educators, strategy managers, and academic institutions looking for insights into the market to determine future strategies