7 Global Solar Trends to Watch
According to Essential Solar, Australia has still a way to go to catch the United Kingdom who are a global leader when it comes to renewable energy. However, Australia is looking to change that with a government-announced target of 25% renewable energy by 2025.
To meet this target, funds have been released to build huge solar and wind power plants throughout Australia in the upcoming years. With everyone’s eyes fixed so firmly on green power, we’re taking a look at 7 global solar trends that could affect the profitability of solar energy.
1. A huge growth in American installations It is predicted that both the number of domestic and community solar builds are going to dramatically increase in 2017. Demand has been very high over the last few years, but thanks to legislative delays, demand hasn’t been met. That means that with the solar initiatives getting the green light, the solar panel industry is going to boom.
2. A global increase in reverse auction tenders Direct incentives and feed-in tariff programmes are being fazed out and replaced with reverse auction bids. This will allow for prices to become established globally for a more universal marketplace that can be accessed worldwide.
3. A more competitive market driving bids up to $20/MWh Global demand for solar energy is really spiralling, which means that access to cheap labour, competitive prices and plenty of solar resources is driving up the cost of bids. $20/MWh is indeed achievable in optimal circumstances, and we’ve even seen a record $24/MWh bid from Dubai recently. This is a huge bid, however, and average bids may not reach such high figures just yet.
4. A more stable module price 2016 saw module price fluctuate wildly as the first half of the year saw unprecedented demand send module prices skyrocketing. However, in the second half of the year, demand fell flat which lead to prices plummeting back down to Earth. 2017 is expected to be much more stable with demand more balanced throughout the year.
5. More megawatt-scale operations While there are still some huge global names in the solar panel industry, global ownership is fragmented between about six big players. This is looking likely to change over the course of the next few years as megawatt-scale operations begin construction.
6. The lowest cost fixed-tilt systems Those who are using a fixed-tilt turnkey system to generate their energy are looking to experience the cheapest ever prices. Some economical states in America could even see prices drop below $1.00 per watt.
7. An increase in the number of residents directly owning solar panels2017 looks to be the year that more residents directly own their solar panels rather than hiring them from a third party company. This is especially true in America where it’s looking like the number of direct residential owners will surpass the number of hired units for the first time since 2011. The increase in demand and popularity means that more and more homeowners are viewing solar panels as a financial commodity.
Published by Julie Scott for Green Jobs Online