Solar panels generate electricity by using photovoltaic (PV) technology. The solar energy is stored and converted into electricity in the photovoltaic panels. The global solar energy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.7% during 2012 to 2017, and solar panels would play a significant role in the growth of the market. The global PV panel installations surpassed the 100 gigawatt (GW) power generation mark in 2012, which is equivalent to power produced by 1GW nuclear reactor or 16 coal plants annually. Nearly 37% of the 3,826 billion kWh electricity generated in 2012 was generated from coal. Increased solar panel installations would reduce the burden on coal. Germany is currently the world leader with 7.6 GW of newly installed systems; however, it is expected that China would be the world leader by 2018 with 15% installations followed by the U.S. The most important factor driving the market growth is that, it reduces CO2 emission. Another factor driving the market growth is that, it increases the production of green energy and saves the depleting coal and natural gas reserves Therefore, governments across the globe understand the importance of promoting renewable sources of energy; therefore, are supporting the installation of solar PV panels. The government support is provided through regulations, tax rebates and feed-in-tariff plans.
However, the key restraints for solar PV panel market is the limited adoption in countries that have reliable and stable grid infrastructure and subsidized electricity charges. Additionally, countries with low income class can’t afford the installation of solar panels as the cost of installation is very high. This is particularly true in the South-East Asian region, as end-users are not provided credit for PV panels as the technology has not established its credentials of being a cost-effective alternative yet. It is expected that technological advances would decrease the cost of PV panel installation over the next five to seven years.
The key companies profiled in this report are First Solar Inc., Canadian Solar Inc., Jinko Solar Holding Company Ltd., Corporation, Solar Frontier Ltd., Sharp Corporation, Schott Solar Ag., Solar World Ag, Suntech Power Holding Co. Ltd., Sun Power Corporation and Trina Solar Ltd.
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