- BMI analysts forecast the world to install around 384 GW of non-hydropower renewable energy capacity in 2023
- It pegs solar PV to account for more than 70% of the total, translating into close to 270 GW
- Global cumulative non-hydropower renewables capacity is expected to grow to 6 TW by 2032, out of which 3.8 TW will come from solar PV; solar PV’s share includes 10.2 GW of CSP
- Diversification of solar PV manufacturing will benefit project developers as increased international collaboration reduces trade barriers
- High prices continue to pose problems for wind energy which may benefit solar PV
BMI, a Fitch Solutions company, forecasts the world to install around 384 GW of non-hydropower renewables capacity in 2023 with solar PV accounting for more than 70% of the total that comes to around 270 GW. Onshore wind will likely contribute 21% and offshore wind another 3% of the total.
Cost dynamics support the strong performance of solar PV sector this year, making it the lowest-cost renewables technology, according to BMI in its Global Industry Overview: Solar To Remain The Top Renewables Choice As Markets Move Towards Distributed Renewables.
However, 2023 PV forecast of the BMI is quite less in comparison to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s up to 415 GW global PV installations this year with 240 GW in China alone (see China To Install Well Over 200 GW Solar In 2023).
Citing the global support for solar strengthening in H2/2023, BMI analysts have revised their cumulative solar PV installation forecast for 2032. As against 2.99 TW pegged earlier, BMI now expects the world’s total installed solar power capacity to reach about 3.8 TW by 2032 (including 10.2 GW of concentrated solar power (CSP)), up from 1.32 TW by 2023-end, in its commentary Global Solar Power Forecast: Further Upward Revision For Solar And Increased Opportunities For The Sector.
Previously, BMI pegged the global cumulative solar capacity to reach about 2.99 TW by 2032.
Stronger ambitions, increasing distributed solar installations and more availability of resources are the reasons for this revision in solar’s aggregate capacity forecast as the world gets serious about energy security concerns. A majority of rooftop solar installations are likely in the residential segment as this is most exposed to the volatility of electricity prices. For commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors, it is long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) that will help lock in electricity prices.
Mainland China, the US, Japan, Germany and India will be the top 5 solar power markets by installed capacity from 2023 till the end of 2032. Around 63% of the total capacity at the end of the forecast period will be located in Asia, followed by 27% in North America and Western Europe (NAWE) region, as per the analysts.
Out of 2.45 TW new solar PV capacity additions expected over the next 10 years, BMI sees China continuing to be counted as the world’s largest solar power market, thanks to the growing distributed solar segment and support from local power companies and government agencies for utility-scale facilities. Close to 90% of net solar PV additions outside Mainland China will be in Europe, the US and rest of Asia.
Solar PV manufacturing
Diversification of solar PV manufacturing chains—driven by strong regulatory support in the US, European Union (EU) and India—will offer choices to developers for their projects. At the same time, increasing collaboration between markets with political and economic alliances will boost supply chains, and reduce trade barriers.
“While developers may be subjected to local content requirements depending on the market, tapping on these protectionist policies can present cost reductions for the construction of solar projects,” reads the analysis. “These include lower labor costs, reduced transportation needed, and government subsidies and grants.”
Challenges for wind energy
Wind power sector continues to face ‘persistently elevated installation costs’ due to high input prices. Its growing appetite for metals will expose the industry to price volatility and supply risks. These growing concerns are hampering the sector as companies are resorting to repricing their wind power purchase agreements (PPA), according to the BMI. These factors have markets pivoting to and accelerating support for the solar power sector.
Overall, solar PV will lead non-hydropower renewables capacity to reach more than 6 TW by 2032-end up from 2.12 TW at the end of 2022.
Solar’s share among non-hydropower renewables generation mix will reach 45% by 2032. Total solar power generation, according to the BMI, will expand from 1,630 TWh in end-2023 to 4,860 TWh in 2032, at an annual average of 13.0%.