The global solar energy market, rapid growth, and significant opportunity for cable manufacturers


Industry Dynamics



The global market for photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems is growing rapidly and, as all solar projects require extensive levels of cabling, represents a considerable opportunity for cable manufacturers. However, to successfully exploit this continuing development, it’s important to understand where growth is focused, why it is focused in these areas, as well as the challenges – both environmental and legislative – that it creates.

This article looks to highlight these issues and opportunities, giving cable manufacturers a clear insight into what it takes to meet the solar energy industry’s expectations. It also demonstrates how BASEC (British Approvals Service for Cables), through its cable testing and certification services, can help manufacturers achieve all necessary industry-related compliance requirements. This is set against a background of how the solar energy opportunities are distributed worldwide.

Why the solar energy industry is growing

The solar industry today owes the rapidity of its growth to multiple factors, rather than to one single reason. Fossil fuel pricing is expected to continue to rise over time, so future-proofing – by reducing dependence on such fuels – makes sound economic sense. Of equal importance, is the pressure that commercial organisations come under to meet their environmental obligations and build a sustainable, green energy policy. This pressure comes not only from shareholders, employees and trading partners, but also from government and related bodies in the form of mandatory legislation.

Accordingly, the major energy market players are leading the way with large-scale renewable energy projects; household names including Amazon, Apple, BBC, Ikea and Unilever have all invested in major schemes.

However, governments and individual consumers, as well as many other international businesses, have also contributed to the drive in demand for solar energy. This need for solar energy output has been met by a reported steady growth of installed solar energy systems.

Schemes based on renewable energy sources, including solar power, are also providing valuable solutions for remote and developing locations. Providing self-sufficient, renewable energy to rural communities in the developing world helps populations to work their way out of poverty with an ability to power their homes, schools, hospitals, stores and industries.

Overall, the latest figures indicate that the global installed capacity for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems exceeded 400 GW in 2017 (as shown in Fig.1).