Budding entrepreneurs – if you are having a keen interest or passionate about renewable energy, you might want to set your eyes on the photovoltaic or PV market. Why? Because the market is projected to continue the growing trends – at least until 2018, which means that it’s lucrative.

According to the Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018 report released by EPIA (European Photovoltaic Industry Association,) the global PV capacity will continue to grow, forecasted at over 50 GW, from 38 GW in 2013.

Solar panel roof
photo credit: JT / Flickr

Despite adoption is slowing down in Europe, the PV market saw rapid growth in Asian region, driven by China, the top market in 2013 with 11.8 GW. Other Asian countries are also gaining a healthy share in the PV market, e.g. India with 1,115 MW, Korea with 442 MW and Thailand with 317 MW.

Considering the tough economic situation, the growing PV market is very appealing. Companies like the Portuguese-based Martifer Solar, for example, enjoys a healthy growth as a leading player in development, EPC and O&M services in the PV market, serving clients in more than 20 countries over 4 continents.

Opportunities in the PV market

So, what opportunities available for solar energy entrepreneurs, entering 2015?

#1. Solar PV systems and products

Technically, every roof in your neighbourhood is your target market. Houses, office buildings, shops – every building you can see is potentially your solar PV installation clients.

With products range from the typical solar thermal systems to the niche systems, e.g. Solar PV for boats, Rvs, etc. The opportunity is aplenty, indeed.

Solar panel installation
photo credit: Brian Kusler

#2. Solar PV innovation and invention

If you are an inventor, making solar panels better, or develop a new kind of solar PV panels that are more efficient and effective is very lucrative. You can always license your invention to PV construction companies or the Government.

#3. Solar PV construction and installation financing

If you are involved in private investment, you can provide project financing or forming a joint venture with developers to fund large solar PV projects.

#4. Solar consultancy

In reality, solar PV panels have been around for years, yet not many businesses and homeowners aware the benefits of installing the panels. This gap in the market can be filled by providing training, consulting and education for both premise owners and business owners.

#5. Solar panel maintenance services

Just like any other high-tech products, solar panels won’t last for a lifetime. There will be regular maintenance required to maximise their impact, ranging from cleaning to replacing broken panels. This means the recurring potential of a solar panel maintenance business.

Solar panel cleaning and maintenance
photo credit: Brian Kusler

Caveats/Risks

Although the opportunities sound lucrative, we can’t deny the fact that PV is a policy-driven business, which means that the opportunities available are heavily dependent on the Government’s decision to support PV tech adoption or not.

According to the same report from EPIA, the best PV market growth scenario should assume a low market in Europe and a growing market in Asia and other rapidly-growing regions – so if you want better chance for success, you might want to consider the Asian markets.

Takeaway

Just like in any other business endeavours, your success in the PV market is governed by many factors, such as laws/regulations, market acceptace of everything solar energy, competition, and – as always – costs fo adoption.

Be sure you do your due diligence and research your market thoroughly before you start a business in PV.