Here are a few ideas what to expect in the solar and renewable energy industry in 2016, according to Sven Lindström, CEO of thin film solar cell manufacturing equipment supplier Midsummer:
1) China will strengthen its position as the world’s leading producer of photovoltaic solar cells. Political stability, massive incentives and dedication by its entrepreneurs to be ‘the world's factory’ will keep Chinese producers in the top spot.
2) Governments will not be able to keep their hands off solar energy taxes. In most countries the government tax income from electricity is larger than utility company's income, and that income is generated without any investments or costs. As feed-in tariffs are lowered and installations move towards roof-top and self consumption, governments will not be able to let go of the taxes. Many countries will follow Germany's self-consumption levy.
3) Although factory gate prices for photovoltaic modules will not fall dramatically, there is still some room for price cuts in installation and system costs.
4) A disappointing year for battery solutions. The battery technology is still uncertain and the limited lifetime of battery systems makes the large investment into such systems uncomfortable. Battery solutions will not boom in 2016.