Solar PV is driving renewable energy growth

28 April 2017

Growth in the solar photovoltaics (PV) sector will help to drive global investment in the power sector to 2020, according to a new report.

Frost & Sullivan has published its Global Power Industry Outlook, 2017, which shows that global power investment will reach $443.5 billion in 2017. Investors are increasingly focussing on decentralised and intelligent energy systems, leading to strong growth in renewables and the emergence of newer technologies such as storage.

According to the report, solar PV will be the fastest growing segment, followed by wind power, accounting for 37.5 per cent and 21 per cent of global investment, respectively, by 2020. Some 73 per cent of power generation investment in Europe will be for renewable technologies, while other regions – notably Russia and the CIS – invest more in hydropower and nuclear.

Opportunities for investment are being driven by the need to decarbonise electricity generation, and digitisation to boost operational efficiency, F&S says. The changing power market will also compel power sector participants to craft innovative business models, offer customer-centric solutions, and create flexible portfolios. 

There will also be higher consolidation as companies seek funding to expand and introduce novel products, the report says.

“As new geographies emerge, local legislation and pro-renewable incentives will impact the fuel mix, compelling industry participants to identify challenges and define localisation strategies for long-term growth,” said F&S Energy & Environment Principal Consultant Jonathan Robinson. “As the renewable and distributed energy markets mature, a large installed capacity of equipment that needs servicing will also offer the operation and maintenance sector attractive growth prospects.”

The report also notes that China will be the largest market in terms of revenue investment, but the fastest growth will come from India, which will see double-digit growth in investment to 2020. China will also be a key market for investment in hydropower, alongside other markets in Asia, and Latin America.

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