Solar installations will stall this year, but make rapid strides in emerging markets and find sustained growth without government subsidies, says Lux Research.
After recent explosive growth capped by a 66% surge to 26.5 GW in 2011, solar installations will grind to a near halt this year — adding a mere 0.4 GW, totaling 26.9 GW of new installations — while industry revenues drop from $110 billion in 2011 to $92 million in 2012 due to crashing prices. However, new installations rebound to 38.3 GW in 2017 as the industry learns to navigate a global market fast losing its subsidies, according to a Lux Research report.
A supply glut, caused mainly by Chinese manufacturers, speculation of incentive cuts in Europe and the end of the 1603 Cash Grant in the U.S., fueled the sharp growth in installations last year. “The solar industry’s storied history has created a massive misperception of technology maturity and commodity status,” said Matthew Feinstein, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Market Size Update 2012: The Push to a Post-Subsidy Solar Industry.”