The Future Of Solar Power

Further growth in solar installations of 20 percent is forecast globally for 2015, with more than 58 GW of additional solar capacity expected to be deployed. The fastest growing areas are expected to be China, Japan, South-East Asia (particularly Thailand), Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East and India.

China is projecting a total installed solar PV capacity of 70 GW by 2017 and to reach 100 GW by 2020.

Across the Europe Union, the total installed solar capacity is expected to go beyond 150 GW by 2020, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), far exceeding the European Commission’s initial targets of 84 GW, a target that was already passed last year. The EPIA has also forecast that the EU will achieve between 330 GW and 500 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030, amounting to between 10 and 15 percent of the total electricity demand of the EU.

While still a relatively small market compared to China, Japan, Europe and the U.S., India is expected to double its solar capacity during 2015, bringing an additional 2.5 GW to 3.2 GW online.

Global cumulative installed capacity is forecast to reach between 320 GW and 430 GW by 2018 according to the EPIA, which at the high end would be close to a tripling of 2013’s total installed capacity.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that the total global electrical capacity derived from both from photovoltaic and solar thermal installations will reach above 5.5 terawatts (5,500 GW) by 2050. This would mean an annual global investment of $225 billion into the solar power industry (approximately twice the current level of investment).