Solar analysts representing business information provider IHS (NYSE: IHS) will gather at the SNEC 10th International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference & Exhibition in Shanghai on 23-26 May 2016. They will also speak at the Industry Workshop: Global PV Market – Outlook and Development Strategies on 24 May to discuss important industry trends facing China and the global photovoltaic (PV) markets.
Top-line analysis and insights on the global PV, module supply, PV inverter and energy storage markets will include the following:
Global PV Market Trends
IHS predicts that annual global PV installations will grow 17 percent in 2016 to reach 67 gigawatts (GW). This will see the global installed base surpass 300 GW. China, the United States and Japan will lead global installations, accounting for 65 percent of global installations together in 2016.
“The policy landscape in these three markets indicates that they are likely to see either decline or slow growth in 2017,” said Ash Sharma, Senior Director for Power and Energy at IHS Technology. “Policy direction is a major factor leading to a global growth rate of just 4 percent in 2017.”
Global Module Supply Chain Trends
While China remains a leader for global cell capacity, new cell capacities are expanding faster outside China in 2016 (at 12.9 percent), in particular in Southeast Asia at 65 percent and India at 80 percent. “This expansion is primarily due to anti-dumping tariffs imposed to Chinese and Taiwanese PV cells in the U.S. and European markets,” said Edurne Zoco, Principal Analyst for Solar Research.
IIHS predicts module price pressure to intensify in the second half of 2016, driven by uncertainties over demand and newly added capacities. Average selling prices of modules are projected to continue declining in 2017, with a drop of 8 percent year-on-year to $0.51 per watt.
Energy Storage Industry Trends
The global energy storage market is about to take off, as the cumulative global installed base is expected to exceed 2 GW in 2016. “Cost reduction from all parts of the supply chain will make energy storage more affordable to more markets in the coming years,” said Isabella Ni, Senior Analyst for Solar and Energy Storage.
IHS expects energy storage to be deployed in an increasing number of countries from 2016 to 2020, led by the U.S., Japan and Germany. Globally, more than 15 GW of energy storage will be installed across all sectors during this period.
Global Inverter Market Trend and Outlook
Chinese suppliers are becoming more competitive in the global PV inverter industry. “In 2015, while Germany’s SMA Solar Technology defended its leading position by revenue, two Chinese suppliers, namely, Huawei and Sungrow, have taken first and second places globally by shipments, on account of the booming Chinese market,” said Frank Xie, Senior Analyst for PV Inverter and Balance of System.
Inverter revenues will increase by 2 percent in 2016 to reach $7 billion. Unit shipments will increase, but the average selling price of inverters will drop significantly to offset this growth.
The inverter breakdown by type is also changing considerably. IHS forecasts three-phase, low-power inverters (less-than 99 kilowatts) will account for one-third of the global inverter shipments by 2019, benefiting from the rapid growth of commercial installations in major PV markets, such as China and the U.S. Three-phase, high-power inverters, which include both standard central inverters and turn-key solutions, will continue to lead the market with an annual usage growth of 1,500 volts, as more markets adopt them – and as they demonstrate proven success – beginning this year.