Solar Installs Erupt As Polysilicon Price Peaks: Rethink Energy


Global solar installations are on track for 222 GW of installations during 2022, and manufacturing output shows that next year this will rise by even more as solar manufacturing surges. This demonstrates that the solar industry has shaken off the drag of high polysilicon pricing, and now prices will be back in step with solar ambition during 2023.


Rethink Energy was the only research group which predicted the price of polysilicon would fall in this timeframe, leading to a dramatic acceleration in global solar installations.


But two key geographical segments of the world are actually installing solar more slowly than last year and the most worrying is the US, which has been partially curtailed by the actions of the US Commerce Department and its anti-dumping action and doubly affected by slow execution now that the Inflation Reduction Act has been passed, as developers all stand in line waiting for subsidies – these will not emerge until well into the second half of 2023 – and even then only if projects can re-engineer their supply chain.

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The other segment is the East Asian Periphery – where Japan and South Korea struggle to find land for utility solar installs, or to develop a coherent transition strategy


Rethink Energy numbers show that in Q3 the world installed 54 GW of new solar capacity, and this is a 37.8% year-on-year increase. In total some 142.5 GW of solar was installed in the first nine months of the year, almost at par with full-year 2021. Our forecast shows that 222 GW will be installed in the entire year, with a year-on-year growth rate of 35%.

China is the most rapidly growing region, closely followed by Europe up 46%, expected to continue to accelerate through 2023 and 2024 with Poland a stand out performer in Europe. Another big winner in Latin America is Brazil.

China has now spread its solar projects over hundreds of municipalities and for the first nine months installed 52 GW almost the same as it installed throughout 2021 almost equal to the full-year figure of 54.88 GW for 2021. We expect China to install as much as 42 GW in Q4, taking its annual total to 94 GW some 42% of new global installations.

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