Deutsche Bank predicts continued growth for global solar market

Global investment group Deutsche Bank has predicted continued growth for the global solar market, bumping up its 2017 estimate for total demand to 82GW, from a previous forecast of 74GW.

In its latest quarterly report, published at the end of last week, Deutsche named further reductions in the costs of PV technology, as well as a possible post-Trump “gold rush” in the US, among key drivers of near-term growth.

“We are raising our 2017 global demand estimate from 74GW to 82GW, mainly due to expectations of stronger growth in China (from 17GW to 25GW),” the report says.

“We expect the final “gold rush” in the US market to drive strong growth in US demand from 2018,” it says.

In terms of PV costs, the report notes that some developers are asking for less than 30c/W for solar modules in India in 2H17 and mid 20c/W in 2018.

Deutsche says this puts solar “at grid parity”, and while such low prices are not yet being offered by tier 1 Chinese suppliers, it believes a near 20 per cent reduction in poly-silicon prices will act as a catalyst for further price cuts for modules.

“We expect poly prices to approach $10-12/kg and module prices to decline to low 30c/W in 2H timeframe.”

But Deutsche also warns of possible speed-humps looming for global solar, such as a slow-down of growth in markets like India.

“Although declining solar module and system costs are driving significant improvement in downstream project economics in India, the pace of new solar project auctions has slowed down significantly,” the Deutsche report says.

“Beyond 2017, we expect overall growth in China to slow down and expect other emerging markets as well as the US to be the primary growth drivers,” the report says. “Our current estimates call for flattish demand in 2018.”

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