Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing technology with potential applications in many sectors of the global economy, namely healthcare, cosmetics, energy, and agriculture, among others. The technology is revolutionising every industry, while attracting tremendous worldwide attention. Owing to its wide range of uses, the global nanotechnology market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 17% during the forecasted period of 2017-2024. Thus, there lies a great opportunity for industry participants to tap the fast-growing market, which would garner significantrevenue on the back of commercialisation of the technology.


Record solar demand in China has shifted the outlook on global PV installations for 2017, according to the latest Global Solar Demand Monitor from GTM Research. Chinese demand exceeded 34 gigawatts last year, pushing global installed solar capacity just over 78 gigawatts. That’s up from the 51 gigawatts of solar installed in 2015, and puts cumulative installed capacity beyond 306 gigawatts worldwide.

The performance of China’s solar market exceeded analyst expectations last year. It flipped the global demand story from an expected 7% global PV market contraction in 2017 to 9.4% growth, with a 5.3% compound annual growth rate through 2022.

GTM Research currently projects the annual global solar market to reach 85 gigawatts in 2017 — more than double the installed capacity in 2014. The higher forecast is driven largely by China, which is expected to have installed roughly 30 gigawatts of the 2017 total.

China wasn’t the only country to experience a banner year in solar last year. The US, also smashed records, reaching 14.6 gigawatts of solar in 2016. Going forward, the U.S. China, Japan and India will dominate the global market, with an estimated 73% of global demand in 2017.

India will overtake Japan as the third-largest global market. At the same time, the German and UK markets are expected to slow, while demand shares will increase in Mexico, France, Australia and a number of Middle Eastern markets.

Renewable Electricity Capacity Growth By Technology

The graph shows Solar PV has become the undisputed leader in renewable power capacity growth, accounting for 60% of the upside potential in the accelerated case.

The UK leads Europe for solar growth, despite a drop in installations after government cut subsidies, and the amount of solar power added worldwide soared by some 50% last year because of a sun rush in the US and China, new figures show. New solar photovoltaic capacity installed in 2016 reached more than 76 gigawatts, a dramatic increase on the 50GW installed the year before. China and the US led the surge, with both countries almost doubling the amount of solar they added in 2015, according to data compiled by Europe’s solar power trade body.

The industry has called the growth “very significant” and said the technology was a crucial way for the world to meet its climate change commitments.

The UK led Europe for solar growth with 29% of new capacity, followed by Germany with 21% and France with 8.3%. Germany, which moved several years ago to subsidise and build a solar industry, still retains the crown for total solar capacity, with Italy in second place.

Across Europe, the total amount of solar power passed the symbolic milestone of 100GW in early 2016 and now stands at 104GW. However, slowing growth in Europe prompted the solar industry to call for the EU to set more ambitious renewable energy targets. European solar companies have also been urging the European Commission to rethink the anti-dumping tariffs it imposed on Chinese solar panels in 2013. The Commission is looking to extend the tariffs by 18 months, shorter than previously planned, after opposition to them from member states.

Solar is still a relative minnow in the electricity mix of most countries. Even where the technology has been embraced most enthusiastically, such as in Europe, solar on average provides 4% of electricity demand.

Electric Vehicles

The last four years have seen a remarkable surge in demand for electric vehicles in the UK – new registrations of plug-in cars increased from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 130,000 by the end of December 2017. There has also been a huge increase in the number of pure-electric and plug-in hybrid models available in the UK, with many of the top manufacturers in the UK now offering a number of EVs as part of their model range.

Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) each month show that electric car sales in the UK have risen dramatically over the past few years. While only around 500 electric cars were registered per month during the first half of 2014, this has now risen to an average of almost 4,000 per month during 2017.

The cumulative figure also shows sustained and dramatic growth of the EV car and van market. According to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and SMMT, more than 123,000 claims have been made through the Plug-in Car Grant scheme.

Taken together with the fact that a significant number of electric cars and vans which are not eligible for the grant schemes have also been registered, the total UK light-duty electric fleet is more than 137,000 electric vehicles strong.