According to its new report on the Top Cleantech Trends to Watch in 2021, IHS Markit believes that renewable installations will rebound by double-digits after COVID-19.
One key finding is that annual solar installations are predicted to grow by more than 30% in 2021. China will still account for 35% of global annual installations in 2021. IHSMarkit found that there are now 18 markets globally that have +1GW cumulative solar installations, compared to just six a decade ago.
“We will see for the first time a situation in which global demand grows over 30% despite high module prices in the first half of the year, which is unprecedented in the solar photovoltaic industry,” said Edurne Zoco, executive director clean energy technology at IHS Markit.
IHSMarkit reported that 2020 was a record year for wind, with IHS Markit tracking activity of nearly 120 GW. Of this, nearly 60% was from mainland China including projects that have secured subsidies.
Non-mainstream renewables such as geothermal will continue generating increasing attention from conventional energy companies and investors - nearly 0.5GW of new capacity is expected to be commissioned throughout 2021, with Indonesia and Kenya leading the global market.
In 2021, the offshore wind industry will deploy more than 10 GW of capacity, nearly twice as much as last year, led by installations in mainland China,” IHSMarkit believes.
“Floating foundations, the future of offshore wind in deep waters, are finally moving into the commercial phase. The industry has proven the reliability of technology in a dozen pilot projects, and in 2021 for the first time commercial floating capacity will be allocated through auctions in the UK and France,” said Andrei Utkin, senior associate clean energy technology at IHS Markit.
With more than 20 GW of the installed onshore wind fleet globally exceeding their 20-year design life in 2021, IHSMarkit sees decisions about repowering, decommissioning, or extending life of existing capacity playing a growing role.
“Growing the share of recycling, especially for wind turbine blades, will be crucial towards meeting announced carbon neutrality goals and paving the way towards a circular economy.” said Indra Mukherjee, senior analyst clean energy technology at IHS Markit.