According to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, the global annual installed bifacial solar module capacity is expected to increase from over 2.6 GW in 2018 to 5.42 GW by the end of 2019 and further to 21 GW by the end of 2024.
- Bifacial annual installed solar module capacity in the world is expected to grow tenfold by 2024 to over 21 GW, according to Wood Mackenzie’s first report on the technology
- Currently, China is the largest market for it but as it moves towards becoming a subsidy-free region, bifacial will experience growth in other countries as well
- The US can expect bifacial solar module technology to grow from 500 MW in 2019 to over 2 GW in 2020 and in 2024, it will grow to more than 7 GW
- Investors will be willing to back bifacial solar module projects once the latter proves its bankability, according to report authors
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Thee most promising module advancement in regard to power yield is bifacial technology, which is poised to grow its market share tenfold by 2024 with annual global bifacial module capacity exceeding 21 GW in that year, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables’ first report on the technology. Annual global bifacial solar module capacity will account for 17.2% of the newly installed capacity in 2021.
In the Global bifacial module market report 2019, the authors point out this technology has grown from only 97 MW installed in 2016 to more than 2.6 GW in 2018. By the end of 2019, new annual additions are likely to reach 5.42 GW taking the cumulative capacity for bifacial modules to more than 8.2 GW.
China is hitherto the flagship bifacial market thanks to its highly efficient technology focused Top Runner program. However ,the bifacial market in the country will grow at a slower rate of 20% annually as China moves towards a subsidy-free system, according to Wood Mackenzie.
It is the US where significant growth can be expected for obvious reasons – the government exempted bifacial solar modules from paying tariffs under Section 201 and major beneficiaries of this will be companies producing the technology in Southeast Asian countries since they don’t incur any import tariffs (see No Tariffs On Bifacial Solar Panels, Says US). A Wood Mackenzie and SEIA report on the US solar market claims the contracted utility scale solar pipeline of the country has ballooned to 37.9 GW and bifacial technology is likely to grow from 500 MW in 2019 to over 2 GW in 2020. In 2024, it will grow to more than 7 GW.
Large-scale tenders in the Latin American markets of Brazil, Mexico and Chile will drive the growth here with the same reason working for bifacial development in Egypt and Africa. North Europe scores over South Europe in expressing clear preference for bifacial technology.
In the Middle East, Oman has a 600 MW bifacial project pipeline, as per the report, while the UAE works on a 320 MW bifacial project and Saudi Arabia becomes an early adopter of the technology.
In Oceania, it is Australia that will lead the pack with its huge desert terrain perfect for bifacial modules.
Growth with challenges
Across the globe, this technology is experiencing growth majorly because of its growing affordability as the production cost differential between bifacial mono PERC and monofacial mono PERC modules is now as low as half a cent, according to the report. For manufacturers, accommodating bifacial module production to existing monofacial module production facilities is also not a big deal.
Despite its growth, the challenge is that there is not enough long-term field data to demonstrate its real-world performance under all conditions, claim the authors. It acts as an impediment in securing finances. Going forward, as bifacial solar modules improve their bankability and prove performance, the report believes, it will win the trust of the investment community and achieve significant global market share.