By Jenny Chase, Solar, BloombergNEF
The global solar market is hitting record highs in volume of installations, and new lows in the price of modules. BloombergNEF has increased its build forecast yet again, particularly due to acceleration in China but also due to rapid build in other established markets, and updates on the global situation as of 3Q 2023.
- Polysilicon makers have reduced production a little, and prices have stabilized, but we still expect huge oversupply in 2H 2023. Margins across the PV value chain are under pressure, as competition is intense among Chinese manufacturers and module inventory is high in Europe and other large markets.
- The price of standard solar modules hit an all-time low of 16.5 US cents per watt in August 2023, and we expect it to fall further by the end of the year.
- China is installing huge volumes of solar, and it is increasingly clear that local plans and targets for build serve as a lower bound rather than an upper one on what actually happen. Meanwhile, we expect South Africa to add 5 gigawatts (GW) of capacity this year, as residential and commercial consumers respond to chronic power outages.
- Increasingly, both large and small solar plants worldwide are being paired with storage. This is mandated in several Chinese provinces and written into auctions in many other countries.
- Corrected to change “shipments” to “production” in table 4 on page 14, and to add Algeria, Spain, Hungary and Portugal text to Appendix B.