Technology & Demand Forecast for Energy Storage and Solar PV to 2020
Authors: Sara Verbruggen and John McKenna
Published: July, 2016
Pages: 126 | Tables: 6 | Figures: 60

While it has faced some turbulent times in recent years, the global solar PV industry has continued to rise up the ranks of competitive alternative power supply technologies. In 2014, 45GW of new solar PV plant was added globally to take cumulative installed capacity worldwide to just over 174GW, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). In 2015, a further 57GW was installed, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), with China and the US installing the most.


With the wind industry installing in the region of 64GW of new capacity last year, according to BNEF, there is no doubt that solar PV is now firmly closing the gap between the two renewable energy technologies. And like onshore wind, the cost of solar PV electricity is firmly on a downward trend. Meantime, energy storage technology is widely recognised to be a critical development to ensure greater integration of solar PV (and other renewables) into grid networks. It will help network operators to better implement demand side management strategies while incorporating renewable electricity.

In this report, ENDS Intelligence provides an overview of the current status of the global solar PV market and related energy storage development, and assesses the outlook for the future, discussing policy measures, market drivers, and key challenges for technology developers, equipment manufacturers, project developers and operators. Regional forecasts for annual installed
solar PV capacity to 2020 are also included along with forecasts for the key countries within each region. The report also analyses the latest trends relating to production, price and performance of solar PV and energy storage. There are significant reasons for optimism going forward, but what is clear is the industry still has a tough time ahead of it in some regions, with growth stymied.

The sudden withdrawal last year of support in some key markets, particularly in Europe, means the outlook for the next few years is less bright than previously thought. That is not to say, it is all doom and gloom necessarily. ENDS Intelligence expects around 51GW of new solar PV plant to be installed this year globally, dropping to 47.4GW of new additions in 2017. With a further
175.8GW expected to be added during the period 2018–20, global cumulative installed solar PV capacity is expected to reach just under 493GW. Asia-Pacific, driven by China, will be by far the biggest regional market, both in terms of annual additions and cumulative capacity by the end of the forecast period.


This report presents an overview of the global technology and demand forecast for energy storage and solar PV to 2020, providing current estimates and forecasts of installed capacity for individual countries, and regions. It is based on an extensive literature search and synthesis of data.

A major source of recent capacity is the International Energy Agency report Current Capacity Trends 2015 in Photovoltaic Applications: Survey Report of Selected IEA Countries between 1992 and 2014. Other major sources of information included EurObserv’ER, Fraunhofer Society, Citigroup, CleanTechnica, SEIA/GTM Research and CanSIA.

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