• IEA’s new report Renewables 2018 sees solar PV technology leading renewable energy expansion growing close to 600 GW by 2023 in the main case scenario that’s based on current policy and market environment
  • Chinese PV policy turnaround will bring down solar power deployments in the country which will bring down total installations globally, even if there are changes in policies and market conditions in the accelerated scenario
  • Distributed PV generation will make the difference for the growth of the sector, encouraged by commercial, industrial, and residential segments adopting the resource
  • Demand recovery can be expected after 2020 due to global module supply glut leading to cheaper module prices

Solar PV technology will continue to drive renewable energy expansion globally, growing almost 600 GW by 2023 and reaching 1 TW capacity by the end of it. However, its size will depend on policies and market developments in China, which currently is on its way down due to the government phasing out subsidies under 531 policy announcement. The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its Renewables 2018 report wherein it provides analysis and forecasts to 2023, makes these assertions.

The report assumes and analyses growth of PV in two scenarios, main and accelerated case. Taking into consideration current policies and market conditions, the main case forecast sees renewable capacity to grow by more than 1 TW over the period 2018 to 2023, with PV accounting for more than half of it, followed by wind, hydropower and bioenergy.

Solar PV in the main case scenario shows 575 GW between 2018 and 2023 comprising utility scale and distributed generation. In the accelerated case that will depend on market and policy enhancements, it forecasts 139 GW since China will continue to dominate the global market and over the next few years, PV deployment here is expected to slow down. “In the short term, global demand will decrease under the main case,” it reads.

The IEA adds global module supply glut leading to cheaper module prices which will lead to demand recovery after 2020, taking annual additions to 140 GW by 2023. “Global additions should exceed 110 GW per year by 2023 in the main case forecast – led by China, the United States, India and Japan. Growth in Latin America and Africa accelerates because of improving economic attractiveness and strong policy support,” forecasts the report.

During the forecast period, IEA says distributed generation will make the difference in the growth of solar PV. Adoption of this technology by commercial and industrial, followed by residential segments will spur almost half of global PV capacity growth, that will account for almost 2% of global electricity output by 2023.

Full report can be purchased from the website of IEA, starting from €80 ($92.22).