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In a bid to curb the uncertainty currently plaguing the solar industry, Lux Research has released a report stating that although solar installations will stall this year, businesses have nothing to fear. The report Market Size Update 2012: The Push to a Post-Subsidy Solar Industry states manufacturers will still be able to make rapid strides if they take advantage of emerging markets and will be able to find sustained growth even without government subsidies.
This year Lux does not expect more than 0.4GW to be added, totalling 26.9GW of new installations. Industry revenues are expected to drop from US$110 billion in 2011 to US$92 billion in 2012 due to crashing prices. However, new installations will rebound to 38.3GW in 2017 if the industry can learn to navigate a global market fast losing its subsidies.
This is in contrast to the sharp growth in installations last year, due to a supply continuously attributed to Chinese manufacturers, incentive cuts in Europe and the end of the 1603 Cash Grant in the US.
“The solar industry’s storied history has created a massive misperception of technology maturity and commodity status,” said Matthew Feinstein, Lux Research Analyst and lead author of the report.
“Opportunities remain and extended success is possible for stakeholders, but the market’s shifting geographic profile – combined with a forced withdrawal from subsidy addiction – means strategic, surgical moves are needed,” he added.
Lux Research analysts ran a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis in 156 separate geographies, accounting for 82% of the world’s population, calculating internal rates of return, to determine the viability and competitiveness of solar in each market.
The report concluded the following: