Global solar installations could hit a record 180 GW in 2021

Solar PV installations are expected to post 27 percent year-on-year growth in 2021 amid strong demand despite increased module prices, long lead times and rising freight costs, according to a new report from IHS Markit. »Leading module manufacturers are sold out for the first half of the year,« said Josefin Berg, Research Manager, Clean Energy Technology at IHS Markit. »There is no indication of price weakness for July shipments yet, manufacturing capacity remains sufficient and no major material bottlenecks have arisen to change our forecast for 181 GW in global solar PV installations.« Although module prices remain higher than the lows seen in 2020, the consultancy expects global demand to grow through the second half of 2021.
While the costs of some module raw materials, such as glass, are forecast to decline from the second quarter of 2021, the impact towards lowering module prices will be limited due to strong demand in both China and the international markets from May and an increased focus on manufacturers’ profits. IHS Markit expects mainland China to surpass 60 GW in solar PV installations in 2021. The US market will install 27 GW. Meanwhile, the highly cost sensitive India market will have a surge in module demand from August 2021, »as a duty-free import window opens until April 2022«. In India as much as 12 GW could be installed in 2021.

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