BNEF expects 34 percent fall in PV module prices this year due to overcapacity

World investment in clean energy in the first six months of 2018 came in at $138.2 billion, down one percent from the same period in 2017, according to the latest data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Investment in solar energy in the first half of 2018 was down 19 percent compared to the same period last year at $71.6 billion. According to the consultancy, the slippage in solar reflects two main developments: »significantly lower capital costs for photovoltaic projects, and therefore fewer dollars spent per megawatt installed; and a cooling-off in China’s solar boom.«
In June, the Chinese government released a policy document restricting new solar installations that require a national subsidy, with immediate effect. BNEF expects a sharp drop in installations in China this year, compared to 2017’s record of 53 GW. »It will also mean overcapacity in solar manufacturing globally, and yet steeper price falls,« says Pietro Radoia, senior solar analyst at BNEF. »Before the Chinese announcement our team was already expecting a 27 percent fall in PV module prices this year. Now we have revised that to a 34 percent drop, to an end-2018 global average of ¢24.4 per watt.«
In the first half of 2018, China invested $35.1 billion in solar, down 29 percent from 1H 2017. BNEF analysts see a possibility that world solar installations in 2018 could fall for the first time on record. In 2017, they totaled 98 GW, far more than for any other technology, renewable or non-renewable.

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