The solar market is booming. According to IHS Markit, new solar power systems with a combined output of over 100 gigawatts (GW) were installed in 2018, and over 120 GW more are expected in 2019. This impressive growth is fueling a boom in production.
Half-cut cells, PERCs and monos – solar cells are becoming more and more powerful and cost-effective. A current mega-trend is the advance of monocrystalline cells and modules which have scored higher levels of efficiency than polycrystalline technology.
Inverters are becoming more and more versatile, enabling new applications for self-consumption, storage systems, e-mobility, power-to-heat and smart homes. Hybrid inverters, solar retrofit solutions and digital platforms are in.
In light of sinking prices for modules and systems, increasing rates for electricity from conventional energy providers, and technical innovations, the self-consumption of solar power is becoming more and more attractive. This is particularly relevant for PV installations, which, starting in 2021, will no longer be eligible for Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) subsidies.
Renewable hybrid power plants are increasingly occupying the spotlight. They see photovoltaics, wind power and other renewable energies being paired with a storage system. Above all, hybrid power plants can secure power supply to stand-alone, off-grid regions as well as feed power into the system as evenly as possible and provide grid services.
Solar power is becoming more competitive throughout Europe. With the help of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs), subsidy-free PV power plants are increasingly being constructed and employed at firmly determined prices.
There is an increasing trend towards photovoltaics in Africa resulting from sinking costs, an increasing energy demand, rising conventional electricity prices and high levels of solar radiation. Microgrids, large rooftop systems and solar parks are being increasingly installed alongside solar home systems and solar water pumps.