Intersolar: Global PV growth to top 50 GW in 2015, report says

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In its latest annual Global PV Market Report, launched at this year’s Intersolar Europe, currently being held in Munich, Germany, the PV Market Alliance estimates cumulative PV installations of 50 GW in 2015, up from the 40 GW installed last year.

Leading the charge will be China, which has recently raised its PV installation targets to 17.8 GW, having missed its previous two annual targets. In a report released by SolarPower Europe, formerly the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), the association said China had installed 5 GW of PV in Q1. Achieving this year’s target, it continued, will be contingent on a number of factors, chiefly "unlocking" the distributed market.

The PV Market Alliance says China could remain the top PV market until the end of the decade, unless India manages to play catch up. In Bridge to India’s India Solar Handbook, also released at Intersolar, it said the country’s growing solar capacity could see it enter the international top five. For this year, it estimates growth of 250%. It added that while 2014 saw only 3 GW installed, it could increase this to 100 GW by 2022.

Speaking to pv magazine today at Intersolar, Gyanesh Chaudhary, the CEO of Vikram Solar further said that India’s module manufacturing capacity now standing at almost 3 GW and that the country’s solar manufacturers had "come of age."

?Japan, which connected around 9.7 GW of PV in 2014, according to SolarPower Europe, is also set to boost global solar growth, as is the U.S., which added over 6.5 GW last year. In Q1 2015, it installed 1.3 GW, according to figures from the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, which added that solar energy accounted for 51% of all new energy generation in the quarter.

In the next five years in Europe, markets are expected to stagnate, before growing again, "powered by lowered prices and new business models." Decreasing prices and innovative business models should also help the U.S. after the expiration of its Federal 30% ITC.

Like SolarPower Europe, the PV Market Alliance says market growth up to 2020 will be uncertain, but that PV capacity could reach between 70 to 90 GW in 2020. The right frameworks and market design need to be in place. If not, the market could stumble, said the association earlier in the week in its comments on growing the solar market to 2020.

2017 onwards will see a high period of uncertainty, says the PV Market Alliance, again mirroring SolarPower Europe’s analysis, due to potential policy changes in established markets like China and the U.S., and due to the high expectations on emerging markets, like India.