A leading German investment bank has published new research arguing that unsubsidised photovoltaic solar power is already at grid parity in nineteen key global markets, and has significantly increased its growth predictions for the worldwide solar industry. Deutsche Bank now predicts that a huge 46 gigawatts of solar PV will be installed across the world in 2014, followed by a further 56 gigawatts in 2015.
The three biggest solar markets - the U.S., China and Japan - are currently booming, leading to a dramatic uptick in demand for solar products for both industrial and residential use. Emerging economies are also seeing a shift towards solar, and the Deutsche Bank report identifies countries such as India, Australia, South Africa, and Mexico, as well as regions in the Middle East, South America and Southeast Asia, as being likely to act as strong growth contributors.
The report suggests five main reasons behind its optimistic forecasts, the main one being the spread of grid parity - in other words, the point at which the cost of solar is equal to or cheaper than retail rates of electricity. Deutsche Bank argues that unsubsidised solar is currently competitive in at least nineteen markets globally, and it expects more markets to reach grid parity in 2014 as solar system prices decline further. In addition, the report suggests that financing costs are falling rapidly for the solar sector, thus removing a significant constraint that has slowed solar growth in the past.