Leading PV markets see pipeline grow to 95 GW

Solar farms up to 5 MW in size are driving a 95 GW project pipeline in leading PV territories, according to NPD Solarbuzz’s latest Global Deal Tracker report.

The study shows that solar PV projects between 250 kW and 5 MW now account for nearly 50 percent of the yet-to-be-completed 4,300 commercial and utility projects in major PV countries.

The leading countries for PV demand now include five major countries in the Asia-Pacific region (China, Japan, India, Thailand and Australia), four European countries (Germany, U.K., Italy and France) and the United States and Canada in North America.

"Collectively, these end-markets are expected to provide more than 80 percent of global solar PV demand during the next five years," the report said.

The total project pipeline for the leading PV markets has reached nearly 95 GW, with the largest projects, in excess of 50 MW, making up 68 percent of the total capacity on offer, although there are currently less than 500 such projects in the pipeline.

"While projects in excess of 50 MW account for most of the solar PV pipeline capacity, smaller projects up to 5 MW can typically be approved and completed within a matter of months, making this segment particularly interesting to suppliers and developers," said NPD Solarbuzz analyst Chris Beadle.

China, Japan and the United States are expected to drive new solar PV capacity deployment over the next five years. Currently, these countries offer a pipeline of more than 3,600 PV projects of greater than 250 kW, which is equivalent to a total capacity of 65 GW. NPD Solarbuzz forecasts that 24 GW of new commercial and utility projects will be completed in these three countries during 2014.

"Understanding the status of the project pipeline within the leading global markets is critical to component suppliers and project developers seeking to participate in the high-growth solar PV industry," added Finlay Colville, NPD Solarbuzz’s vice president. "With global PV demand still concentrated among just a few countries, sales and marketing efforts will achieve the greatest rewards when they are aligned with projects that have the best chances for near-term deployment."