Mercom: 48 GW of solar PV to be installed globally in 2014

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Mercom Capital has released its latest forecast of global solar PV installations, predicting a 26% increase over 2013 to 48 GW of new capacity. This is despite a slow first half of the year in several key markets including China, which installed only 3.3 GW.

Mercom predicts that China will still come close to installing its revised goal of 13 GW. “China is going to make or break that number, and they did that last year too,” Mercom CEO Raj Prabhu told PV Magazine. “The first half is always slow, and in the fourth quarter we always have a rush.”

In January China enacted policies transform its solar market from utility-scale to distributed generation, setting an 8 GW DG solar goal for 2014. This market segment has proved elusive, and in recent weeks the nation has enacted a suite of policies to help achieve this goal, at least on paper.

Prabhu says that the most important of these was changing the definition of DG to any project under 20 MW. “Everyone said there is no way you are going to achieve 8 GW in one year, that is too aggressive, so they said OK, we are just going to change the formula.”

Mercom predicts growth in Japan’s solar market in 2014 to 9 GW, citing strong project economics under the nation’s feed-in tariff and a sizable pipeline of projects. Likewise, the company expects the U.S. market to grow to over 6 GW. The United States lacks the strong central policies in place in other leading solar markets, but has shown steadier market growth.

Germany and the UK are expected to come in fourth and fifth. While the German market has been contracting for the past year and a half, the UK market is one of the few in Europe that is growing in 2014.

More detailed information on Mercom Capital’s 2014 predictions will be featured in the November edition of PV Magazine.