Solar PV 2009

Solar PV 2009 – Historical Data Seies. Global investment in renewables grew very fast from $35 billion in 2004 to $148 billion in 2007, averaging over 60% growth a year, but slowed down with only 5% growth in 2008 to $155 billion. $41.3 billion was by company investment through VC/PE (venture capital/private equity), equity in the public markets, corporate of government R&D. $96.6 billion was through asset finance. Renewables were undoubtedly helped by sky high oil prices during much of 2008 but that advantage withered, although oil prices are now rising again.

In 2008 wind was the major target for investment, receiving $52.9 billion and solar the second highest with $31.1 billion, but solar had much the highest cagr with 70% from 2006 to 2008, compared with geothermal’s 57% and wind’s 44%. However, it is the quarterly analysis which tells the story of the effect of the financial crisis. After almost uninterrupted growth from Q1/2004 to Q4/2007, investment started to decline in Q3/2008 and nose-dived in Q4/2008 with $23.9 billion compared with $41.2 billion in Q4/07, and only $13.9 billion in Q1/2009 compared with $28.3 billion in Q1/2008.

Governments have committed some $180 billion to the development of sustainable energy to be invested between 2009 and 2013. Contributions will peak in 2010 and 2011.

The United States and China have both committed by far the largest stimulus packages to sustainable, energy each worth nearly $70 billion from 2009 to 2013. India’s $13.7 billion two-part stimulus programme includes no dedicated funding for renewable energy or energy efficiency measures. Japan follows with $11.7 billion; the long-awaited fourth stimulus package was finally announced in April 2009. South Korea’s official announcement its “Green New Deal” came in January 2009 and is designed to stimulate job creation through green growth. It has been acclaimed as the greenest stimulus package from any major world economy, given that some 80% of the overall $38 billion is dedicated to environmental measures. However, under scrutiny only $7.7 billion will be devoted to “clean energy”, and again, energy efficiency is the key beneficiary. Germany’s two packages, amounting to €80 billion, initially only include two clean energy measures. There is a risk attached to the fiscal stimulus which should be factored in. Feed-in tariffs and fiscal stimulus

programmes depend on governments’ capacity to sell debt, usually in the form of bonds. It has always been assumed that the industrialised countries have an unlimited ability to sell sovereign debt but this is now open to question, as governments load one bond auction after another onto the international debt market, principally China. Already the US, Germany and Britain have experienced failed auctions and Reuters reports that the US government may face difficulty financing the spending to stimulate the economy. Several countries have suffered down-ratings in their credit ratings and others, including the United Kingdom, have been put on negative notice. At the start of the fiscal stimulus packages in 2008/09 in the UK, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Howe, who is one of the few people in the world with actual experience of managing a financial collapse (the UK in 1979), warned that the final determinant would not be the government’s desire to pump money into the economy, but its ability to raise the funds in the markets to finance it. All the indicators are that many countries will have to make big savings in their expenditure, which may be an added constraint. Global production of solar photovoltaic cells rose from 47 MW in 1990 to 4,117 MW in 2007 and 6,950 MW in 2008. After several years of supply side pressure supply now exceeds demand, reducing prices and lead times.

In 2005 Japan accounts for 47% of production and five companies dominated the Japanese market. Sharp was the world leader with capacity of 500 MW and had been for nine years, the next largest being Kyocera with 240 MW.

From the NRG Expert Historical Data Series