The global market for solar panels is forecast to reach $71.8 billion by 2017, primarily driven by robust demand for solar energy  in the United States and developing markets such as China and India. The market will also be driven by government policies, especially feed-in-tariffs and investment subsidies, which are expected to play a major role in determining the future demand for solar panels.
Spiraling energy consumption worldwide  is driving demand for increased energy production. Business opportunities presented by sustainable energies of the future, such as, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass energies are driven by their contribution in lowering CO2 and greenhouse emissions. Solar energy, in comparison with other renewable alternatives has a wide range of benefits and has gained tremendous prominence  over the last few years with new solar power grids mushrooming in several countries the world over. Public utilities, and private corporations have begun to integrate solar energy as an indispensable part of their respective energy portfolios. An essential part of solar energy value chain, solar panels have always mirrored the trends in the overall solar energy sector, particularly status of solar PV installations.
Following several years of perpetual increase, growth in the PV cells and panels market slowed down for a brief period in 2009 on account of the global economic downturn characterized by tightened credit and the increasingly cautious approach by banks towards lending. The credit squeeze not only affected the purchases of solar cells and panels for energy generation but also deferred investments in solar cell manufacturing. Sluggish demand resulted in a significant inventory build-up starting from raw material silicon and PV cells to the complete PV systems, which ultimately led to considerable decline in prices of solar cells and panels, adding to the manufacturer’s agony. The decline in demand for solar cells and panels was harsher in Europe, as the market suffered a twin blow with Spain registering drastic reductions in PV installations during the year. However dramatic improvements in Solar PV installations across the globe in the year 2010, particularly in Europe and Asia-Pacific, ensured that cells and panels market staged a remarkable comeback in the year 2010. Supportive government policies, especially feed-in-tariffs and investment subsidies have helped Western European nations such as Germany, Italy and the UK to achieve tremendous increase in solar PV installations in 2010, thus driving resurgence in demand for solar panels during the year.
After making a comeback in the year 2010, the solar panels market  in the immediate future will be challenged by planned subsidy cuts by major European countries such as Germany and Italy and chances of excess supply. While Europe still accounts for a major share of demand for solar panels, other markets such as the US, Asia-Pacific and even Latin America are expected to gather momentum, and even spearhead growth in the global market over the next few years. Continued policy adjustments, tightening incentive terms and uncertainty over continuation of Feed-In Tariffs for solar installations in major European markets are fast shifting the market dynamics away from the region and towards other regional markets. Developing countries are emerging as torchbearers in the global solar power market. With a steady decline in the prices of PV power, mainly due to financial aids from developed countries and international organizations, solar energy is increasingly used in various developmental activities such as education, water supply, and healthcare.
As stated by the new market research report, Europe accounts for a lion’s share of the global solar panel  installations in megawatts. By product type, Crystalline Solar Panel  is the largest market segment. With increasing efforts to promote solar PV power generation to combat global warming, growth prospects for photovoltaic sector remains buoyant in the long term. Given the fast increasing electricity prices, particularly in Europe, and substantial declines in prices of PV technology over the last few years, the solar PV market is expected to achieve its key competitive measure – the grid parity. Global revenues from sales of solar panels are expected to surge at an impressive CAGR of 20% over the analysis period.
Major players in the global marketplace include BP Solar International, Inc, Bosch Solar Energy AG, Dyesol Ltd, EniPower S.p.A., Evergreen Solar, Inc, E-Ton Solar Tech Co., Ltd., Flisom AG, GE Energy, Global Solar Energy, Inc., Hitachi Metals America, Ltd., Isofotón SA, JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd., Kyocera Corporation, Matrix Solar Technologies, Inc., Miasolé, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Limited, Motech Industries, Inc., Nanosolar, Inc., Primestar Solar, Q-Cells Se, Sanyo Solar, Sharp Corporation, Signet Solar, Inc., Sunpower Corporation, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. , Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., Ltd. , among others.
The research report titled “Solar Panels: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, company profiles, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities. The report provides market estimates and projections for Solar Panels in (US$ Million, Million units and Installations in Megawatts) for major geographic markets including United States, Canada, Japan, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, South Korea, Rest of Asia-Pacific), and Rest of World.
For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit – http://www.strategyr.com/Solar_Panels_Market_Report.asp.