Global Solar Installations Likely to Top 520 GW in 2024: BNEF

The solar industry added 444 GW of new capacity in 2023

March 7, 2024


The solar industry added nearly 444 GW of new capacity in 2023, a 76% year-over-year (YoY) growth, taking advantage of the fall in prices of solar modules and ample supply of components, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) Global PV Market Outlook for the first quarter of 2024.

China alone added 216.9 GW in 2023, accounting for 60% of the global market. According to China’s National Energy Administration, the capacity addition in 2023 represented a 148 % YoY increase from 87.4 GW.

The BNEF report said end-user markets are booming while manufacturers struggle to make profits.

2024 forecast

Installations are likely to top 520 GW in 2024, according to the BNEF forecast.

The global solar market is expected to grow by 29% YoY, with 37 markets likely to install more than 1 GW of solar modules in 2024.

Global Solar InstallationsThe expected price of standard PV modules for most of 2024, especially in markets without trade barriers, is estimated to be $0.11/W.

The report said, “We only see about 574 GW(DC) of module build in 2024, mainly limited by local factors such as access to grid, land and labor.”

A sufficient supply of polysilicon has to be produced by major suppliers to make 1.1 TW solar modules in 2024. However, some polysilicon makers have already halted production because of low prices, and others are expected to follow suit. BNEF estimates that the module assembly capacity is enough to produce 738 GW of modules annually.

The report said governments continue to plan to support local manufacturers and build local solar industries. Still, the intense cost pressure will make companies wary of investing unless incentives are extremely generous. Many announced plans for factories in Europe, the U.S., and other countries will be canceled.

Mercom recently reported that prices of solar modules shipped from Asia to Europe have jumped as much as 20% as trade disruptions in the Red Sea, which carries 12% of the world’s seaborne trade, have spiked freight costs.