Global photovoltaic (PV) demand will set another record in 2018 and reach 113 GW, driven by continuing strong demand in China, IHS Markit projects.
According to the analytics firm, the fourth quarter of 2018, in particular, will be the most successful quarter in PV history with 34 GW of new installations.
“This latest forecast is close to the global polysilicon limit manufacturers can supply,” said IHS Markit research and analysis director Edurne Zoco.
Global solar installations are expected to grow by 19% this year, in line with the 20% year-over-year increase last year. The ongoing strong demand will lead to stable module prices throughout the year. IHS Markit said that at this rate of installation, module availability will again be the limiting factor. Prices may also curb investment returns on solar projects with contracts to sell power at low prices.
The Chinese market is expected to reach 53 GW and potentially up to 60 GW in 2018. In addition, demand is also rising India where developers seek to secure modules before the introduction of any additional tariffs, Zoco said. India is projected to outstrip the US as the second biggest PV market.
Zoco also said that the US continues to import modules, despite the latest import tariffs. Emerging markets like Egypt, Brazil and Mexico, on the other hand, also have large PV projects that need modules supply in 2018.