In an uncertain global solar industry, what has been certain is the consistently wrong forecasts of global solar capacity every year over the last decade by analysts and experts.
They have been wrong almost every year and always on the lower side as the global solar (NYSEARCA:TAN) industry keeps on surprising with rapid growth as costs have now achieved grid parity much before what was expected. With prices going down, solar energy is expected to keep growing despite its large base. With analysts in the beginning of the year predicting a flat year with around 80 GW of demand, it has now increased to 90 GW with much of the delta coming from China which has already installed a mind boggling 25 GW in the first half of the year itself.
Read Proved – International Energy Agency (IEA) is Always Radically Wrong on Solar Energy Forecasting
Even other parts of the world are rapidly increasing their solar capacity, though regulations and policies creating a hurdle in the growth of renewable energy. Solar energy has now become much bigger than wind (NYSEARCA:FAN) energy and will soon be the biggest source of new energy capacity installed in the coming years. Already in developed countries in North America and Europe, solar energy has become the biggest new source of energy. It should soon reach that position even in developing countries as the costs of solar have become lower than coal and gas.
India and China should make up 50% of the new solar capacity coming up in 2017. The year 2018 will also be special as it is expected that global solar new capacity will exceed 100 GW for the first time ever. Despite the continued high demand for solar panels over the last few years, the supply has not only kept up but also increased more than demand, keeping prices in check and even sometimes crashing as demand lulls in some places. China with over 100 GW of solar panel capacity alone has been the key driver behind the low costs and massive growth of the solar industry.