We have just turned a milestone: solar energy now accounts for a little more than 1% of global electricity generation.

 According to the report released by Solar Power about the prospects of solar energy market for 2015-2019, the solar power capacity has been multiplied by a factor of 100 since 2000, reaching the level of 178 GW installed globally in 2014. The rate of growth is impressive and seems to continue at a stable level despite some slowdown in Europe.

It is difficult to assess now how the demand will grow in the near future. Many variables must be taken into account. Will Europe growth continue to slowdown? Will China’s government continue to support the adoption of renewable energies? Will developing countries adopt more and more solar energy? In few words, part of the incredible growth is due to low price; will this business model be sustainable when switching from a subsidized model to a customer centric model? And then, how the technology will evolve? Will it be able to make solar energy more accessible?

Some optimistic researchers think that it is possible to reach 2% level by 2017. However, more realistic forecasts, as the ones presented by IHS Top Ten Trends for 2015, estimate a 25% growth in global solar PV demand in 2015 and consequently expect to reach 2% sometimes before 2021. In any case, a cleaner future does not look so distant.



Eliana Canavesio