My takeaways from Intersolar
- May 13, 2022 1:15 pm GMT
It was great to be out and about at Intersolar 2022 and see lots of old friends and faces! The excitement and buzz amidst a booming solar and storage market was incredible. It was back to the good old days of a decade ago!
My major takeaways were:
• In terms of solar, global demand is likely to be higher than supply this year which could reach 250GW, up an amazing 38% from 180GW last year.
• The Chinese market is likely to be the biggest at about 100GW, followed by Europe at 26GW with the major markets being Germany (6.5GW) and Spain (5GW). German market is booming particularly the rooftop market with most people also putting in place batteries.
• The big unknown is the US solar market which is expected to installed 25GW this year but that could be half that given the ongoing trade investigation into Chinese solar-panel suppliers.
• The one negative in solar is the difficulties in the inverter market as semiconductor shortages are clearly impacting the ability of supply for solar to keep up with demand. General view is that it will take 12-18 months for these bottlenecks to eradicate.
In terms of energy storage, the market is buoyant with solid growth expected across all markets but in particular the UnitedStates, China, UK as well as the German residential market which could hit a record 1GW this year, if enough so called hybrid inverters (for solar and batteries) can be delivered.
• Global installations are expected to be around 18GW, up from 10GW last year. 95% of the market is lithium-ion but that is likely to change due to supply shortage for lithium-ion batteries and growing demand for longer-duration storage.
• With regards lithium-ion over 90% of the market is already going to EVs and with global EV sales set to grow this year by nearly 50% to 10.5m sales battery manufacturers are prioritising supplies to Tier1 auto clients rather than the storage markets, as well as covid lockdown related disruptions in China. This is why Fluence, the leading global battery system integrator had to declare force majeure with three major customers.
• Going forward mining capacities for lithium, nickel and cobalt are not keeping up with demand or the number of gigafactories being built. The general view is that end producers such as automobile manufacturers may need to integrate into mining.
• What this means is that there is a huge opportunity for competitive technologies such as flow batteries and other next generation technologies to come to market.
Overall, a bright future for all things solar and storage.
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