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Global PV market to reach $155 billion by 2018

A new report from Lux Research projects that the global PV solar market will be worth a mammoth $155 billion in 2018.

The research firm says that the current decline in costs, which has put solar panel manufacturers around the world out of business, will lead to an increase in demand for solar power.

According to Lux Research, the market will grow to 35 GW this year, but will almost double over just five years, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 10.5 percent to reach 61.7 GW in 2018.

“Manufacturers’ nightmare is turning into a long-term boon for the industry. Record low prices pushed gross margins to near zero or below, but they’ve made solar installations competitive in more markets,” said Ed Cahill, lead author of the report titled, “Market Size Update 2013: Return to Equilibrium.”


Major Chinese PV manufacturer Yingli Solar's 2MW installation in Salerno, Italy. Credit: Yingli Solar

Major Chinese PV manufacturer Yingli Solar’s 2MW installation in Salerno, Italy. Credit: Yingli Solar


“Supply and demand will come back into balance in 2015, easing price pressure, returning manufacturers to profitability and restoring the industry to equilibrium,” he added.

The report also predicts that the U.S. will be the second largest market for solar by 2018, with 10.8 GW of installed capacity – just behind China, which is predicted to have around 12.4 GW.

“Utility-scale solar, the smallest segment in 2012 at 8.6 GW, will grow the fastest to 19.9 GW in 2018 as developing markets turn to PV,” says the report.

Commercial scale solar installations will also exhibit high growth, particularly in Japan and the U.S.

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