The clean energy market is predicted to register strong growth in 2018, with the renewable power generation capacity set to grow by 13.3% in 2018 to 154.6GW, according to Frost & Sullivan. The analyst's report also suggested that investment in renewable research will reach more than $228bn by the end of this year.
The falling cost of developing clean energy technologies and storage facilities as well as increasing public support have been the biggest factors encouraging the sector to thrive. However, the Chinese government's decision to slow down the growth of its solar sector is predicted to have significant impact on the market.
"The Chinese government's announcement of modifications to its solar policy dramatically changed the projections the renewable industry had for 2018 and the following years," stated Energy and Environment senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan Maria Benintende.
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"Worldwide, we see that as the number of countries cutting subsidies increases, the market is compelled to consider purely commercial alternatives to feed-in tariffs, such as competitive auctions and private-sector power purchase agreements," she added.
Despite these drawbacks, at 90GW, the solar sector will occupy the largest share of the new capacity with 53GW coming from wind power.
The report noted that an especially fast-growing area will be floating solar, in particular in the form of hydropower dams. "The current installed capacity of 1 GW can double or triple," the report stated. "As PV floating installations do not compete with other productive land uses and as they can employ already deployed transmission infrastructure, there is a growing interest in it from the end users of South America, South Europe, India, and Asia-Pacific."