Photovoltaic Market Size, Trends, Scope and Growth Analysis to 2030



The global photovoltaic market size is expected to grow from USD 24,329.6 million in 2020 to USD 95,059.9 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 25.5% from 2021 to 2027. Photovoltaic energy is the energy produced by the sun’s radiation, which is transformed into electricity in photovoltaic cells. The electricity is then fed into the electricity network for can then be used in electrical equipment. Photovoltaic energy technology is widely used in rooftop solar installations to provide stored energy for residential buildings at a low cost. In addition, on a commercial scale, photovoltaic technology is used in solar lamps, parking meters, emergency telephones, trash compactors, temporary traffic signs, charging stations, and remote guard posts & signals.

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The growth of the global photovoltaic market is majorly driven by the increase in energy demand due to the rising population; in addition, the surge in need for sustainable energy resources has been witnessed across the globe, coupled with favorable government regulations. These regulations focus on the reduced dependency on fossil fuels and help in controlling environmental pollution. This, in turn, favors the demand for renewable energy sources such as solar energy and is the key factor that fuels the demand for photovoltaic energy. In addition, a reduction of carbon footprint and an upsurge in the need for low-cost energy generation are expected to propel the growth of the photovoltaic market.

However, factors such as the high cost of installation, storage, and power conversion devices and low efficiency of PV modules are expected to hinder the growth of this market. On the contrary, a decrease in the cost of solar systems and energy storage devices is expected to offer a lucrative opportunity for market growth. In addition, an increase in the prices of fossil fuels is anticipated to provide remunerative opportunities for market expansion. A rise in prices of fossil fuels, such as coal, will boost the cost of electricity generation, which will increase the usage of photovoltaic energy.

Global Photovoltaic Market Dynamics

Drivers: Supportive government policies and initiatives toward the usage of photovoltaic technology

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. government has implemented laws such as net metering and community solar to promote the usage of photovoltaic technology to generate electricity. Consumers can utilize photovoltaic energy for their own electricity needs in countries such as the U.S., Spain, France, and others. They can sell the remaining solar power that they do not use. In addition, community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. The Chinese solar photovoltaic industry has witnessed significant growth as compared to any other country over the years. According to the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, China’s photovoltaic (PV) energy capacity grew by 34% year-on-year in 2018. Total installed PV capacity surpassed 170 gigawatts at the end of 2018 compared to 136 gigawatts in 2017.

In addition, the Government of India launched the Rooftop Subsidy program and Golden Sun Demonstration (GSD) program. Under GSD, 50% of monetary support has been provided as a subsidy for large grid-connected rooftops with a capacity >300 kW and 70% support for off-grid systems. Under Solar Mission, the Indian government has set a target of deploying 100 GW installed solar electricity capacity by 2022, out of which 40 GW is projected to be through grid-connected rooftop solar systems. In addition, under centralized grid connection and stand-alone solar energy strategy development, the government aims to ensure energy security for the nation to achieve “24×7 power to all.” These factors collectively are anticipated to drive the growth of the photovoltaic market.

Restraints: High cost of installation, storage, and power conversion devices

Though PV technology is cost-effective and serves as an ideal option for various end-use applications, high capital costs associated with PV installations compared to other emerging renewable technologies restrain the growth of the market. This, in turn, is expected to limit the overall deployment of PV systems during the forecast period. In addition, solar energy can be harnessed for a limited period, and the power has to be saved in batteries for later usage. The batteries used to store the solar power are highly costly, giant-sized, and need regular replacement. These factors together are projected to restrain the growth of the PV market.

Opportunities: Rise in prices of fossil fuels

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), crude oil prices per barrel have increased by 60% from 2016 to 2018. The increased fossil fuel prices have led to a rise in the prices of electricity. This, in turn, has led to the increase in the adoption of photovoltaic technology, owing to its zero fuel costs coupled with low maintenance & operation costs in comparison with fluctuating prices of power generated through conventional means such as coal nuclear, crude oil, and gas.

According to the graph below, the crude oil prices per barrel have declined from 2014 to 2016 by 43.54%, owing to higher production of crude oil from oil-producing countries and a fall in demand. However, from 2016 to 2018, crude oil prices per barrel have increased by 60%, due to significantly less production & supply of crude oil and a rise in energy demand from consumers and end-use industries globally.

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Scope of the Report

The study categorizes the photovoltaic market based on technology, system, and application at the regional and global levels.

By Technology Outlook (Revenue, 2017-2027, USD Billion)

  • Thin Film
    • Cadmium Telluride
    • Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide
    • Amorphous Thin-film Silicon
  • Mono-Si
  • Multi-Si

By System Outlook (Revenue, 2017-2027, USD Billion)

  • High Concentrated PV (HCPV)
  • Low Concentrated PV (LCPV)

By Application Outlook (Revenue, 2017-2027, USD Billion)

  • Industrial
  • Residential
  • Commercial

By Region Outlook (Revenue, 2017-2027, USD Billion)

  • North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
  • Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
  • The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)

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The thin-film segment of the photovoltaic market is projected to account for the largest share

Based on the technology, the photovoltaic market has been segmented into thin film, Mono-Si, and Multi-Si. In 2020, Thin Film accounted for the largest market share of 48.31% in the global photovoltaic market and was anticipated to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period.

The thin-film photovoltaic technology is used to produce power at a low cost per watt. It is used to generate consistent power at elevated temperatures and on overcast days, and at low sun angles; hence, it serves as an ideal option for large-scale solar farms. Increasing the installation of high capacity solar farms ranging from 550 MW to 5000 MW across UAE, India, Egypt, China, Mexico, and the U.S. to produce large amounts of electricity is expected to increase the demand for thin-film technology. In addition, thin-film technology is widely incorporated in building-integrated photovoltaic applications (BIPV), such as the roof or the façade. It helps save material & electricity costs, reduces the use of fossil fuels & emission of ozone-depleting gases, and adds architectural interest to the building. Moreover, it minimizes dependency on traditional electricity generators, often reducing the overall emissions of climate change gasses. Infrastructure development across Europe, the U.S., and China has led to an increase in the adoption of BIPV systems in newly constructed or under construction buildings, which is expected to boost the demand for thin-film technology, thereby driving the growth of the photovoltaic market.

Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period in the photovoltaic market.

Based on region, the global photovoltaic market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. In 2020, Asia Pacific was estimated to have the highest growth rate of 28.9% during the forecast period. Moreover, Asia-Pacific PV market is studied across China, Japan, India, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, and rest of Asia Pacific. In Asia-Pacific, PV energy is widely used to generate electricity for standalone systems and rural electrification. In addition, growth of telecommunication and aerospace & defense industry has led to increase in usage of PV energy across the Asia-Pacific region.

In the Asia Pacific, China has the largest market revenue share of 39.22%, followed by Japan, having a market revenue share of 27.56% in 2020. Thailand is the fastest growing country and is estimated to register a CAGR of 34.9% during the forecast period, followed by India, which is estimated to register a CAGR of 32.1%.

China is the world’s largest market for photovoltaics. Since 2018, China was the world’s leading installer of solar photovoltaics and largest producer of photovoltaic power. As of May 2018, China held the record for the most significant operational solar project in its 1,547-MW project at Tengger. In addition, the Chinese Government has given subsidies on solar panel installation for residential and commercial purposes to encourage usage of green energy to curb carbon emission. Furthermore, increased infrastructure development activities have boosted the demand for solar-operated standalone systems such as solar street lights and telecommunication & signaling towers. These factors have increased the demand for PV energy across China.

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Key Market Players

The photovoltaic market is consolidated in nature with few players such as Abengoa SE, Acciona S.A., Canadian Solar, Inc., First Solar Inc., JA Solar Co., Ltd., Sharp Corporation, Tata Power Solar Systems Co. Ltd., Trina Solar,and Renesola, garnering a significant share of the market. These players have been adopting various strategies to gain higher shares or retain leading positions in the market. Business acquisition and joint venture are the most adopted strategies by the players such as Canadian Solar, Inc., Trina Solar Co. Ltd., Acciona S.A., JA Solar Co., Ltd., and First Solar Inc. The strategies adopted by these companies are analyzed and studied thoroughly. Comprehensive analysis of recent developments and growth curves of various companies helps to understand the growth strategies and their potential effect on the market.

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