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2012 Actual Solar Demand Growth does not turn out to be too great, 2013 should be much better

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The Solar Energy Industry saw only a 5% year on year demand growth in 2012, despite falling solar panel prices. The main reasons were that Germany and Italy kept dropping their subsidy levels in order to stop the skyrocketing growth in solar panels. Some of the boom markets like Czech, Spain etc. have also been saturated and have pretty much become no- material to world growth. The European market in fact declined to 60% of the global demand compared to 68% last year.

Government have become more wise on how to give subsidies for solar energy and prevent a massive boom. Also solar energy in the new markets like US and Japan are not seeing the exponential growth like the European countries did. The bureaucratic costs of solar energy installation is much higher which is preventing the consumers from enjoying the full benefits of the ultra low solar panel prices.

2013 will be a better year for the solar industry as China sees a big spurt as the government finds the price of solar panels low enough to allow bigger subsidies. Other markets like India, Brazil and South Africa are also starting to rev up their solar engines. US and Japan will also see decent to high growth in 2013. With many of the solar manufacturers bankrupt 2013 will be the first year of the up cycle for the solar industry.

Read Solar Panels in India – Complete Guide.

Solar Power in India

Solar Energy in India is one of the most exciting growth industries in the world right now. Solar Energy in India is poised to take off in a exponential manner because of a unique confluence of favorable Supply and Demand factors. Here is a list of factors that will make Solar Power one of the fastest growing energy sectors in the world

  • India has very high isolation (solar radiation in layman language) which makes solar energy much cheaper to produce solar power in India  compared to  countries like Germany, Denmark etc.
  • India has a huge electricity demand supply gap – Large parts of India regularly face blackouts for lack of electricity supply leading to huge monetary losses.
  • Lack of power grid availability – Solar Energy is ideally suited for providing power to those areas which don’t have power lines connecting it. Large parts of India don’t have electricity grid connectivity and it is cheaper to power them through solar energy rather than extending power lines.
  • Increasing expensive and unreliable electricity supply – The rates of electricity prices are going up rapidly each year due to a combination of factors like higher costs of fossil fuels, increasing capital expenditure by utilities and privatization of power.
  • Solar Energy approaching Grid Parity – The costs of Solar Energy has been decreasing rapidly over the last 2 years and has reached retail price grid parity in countries like Italy, Hawaii.
  • Strong Support from the Government –  The Indian government through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission has provided strong support to the growth of this industry. The government has set a  target of 20 GW by 2022.

You can also read about the Advantages of Solar Power


The expectation that PV installations would reach 32GW in 2012 has been dampened by a new report from NPD Solarbuzz.

According to the market research firm, PV demand in 2012 reached 29GW, up only 5% from 27.7 GW in 2011. Notably, the growth figure is the lowest and the first time in a decade that year-over-year market growth was below 10%..“During most of 2012, and also at the start of 2013, many in the PV industry were hoping that final PV demand figures for 2012 would exceed the 30GW level,” explained Michael Barker, Senior Analyst at NPD Solarbuzz..“Estimates during 2012 often exceeded 35GW as PV companies looked for positive signs that the supply/demand imbalance was being corrected and profit levels would be restored quickly. Ultimately, PV demand during 2012 fell well short of the 30GW mark.”


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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