Global installed PV capacity to reach 200 GW soon, says German solar association

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Global solar PV installations are expected to soon reach a cumulative capacity of 200 GW, calculates BSW-Solar, which will see solar producing more energy than 30 coal or nuclear plants combined, and will help save over 100 million tons of CO2 annually. According to SolarPower Europe, cumulative capacity in 2014 reached 178 GW.

Slightly more reserved than GTM Research’s predictions of 55 GW of new solar PV installations in 2015, the association forecasts 50 GW; a figure Roland Berger Strategy Consultants also recently quoted.

Based on the outlook for this year, and the fact capacity reached 178 GW last year, indications are up to 22 GW have been installed in 1H. Looking ahead, issues like the soon to expire U.S. 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit, China’s upped annual installation targets and India’s recently unveiled ambitious solar plans, for example, suggest new installation activity is unlikely to slowdown in 2H 2015 and, thus, that the 50 to 55 GW target is realistic.

Over the next four years, BSW-Solar expects to see at least a doubling in newly added global solar PV capacity to a minimum of 400 GW.

As with SolarPower Europe and Roland Berger, which also recently released a glowing report on the solar industry, the German association states rapid price decreases have led to accelerated PV deployment. Mass production and technological progress have seen prices sink by more than 90%, it says.

BSW-Solar MD, Carsten Körnig adds that in around 30 countries across the world, energy generated from residential rooftop systems costs less than conventional energy from utilities. Meanwhile, the association says solar energy covers more than 10% of gross electricity consumption in southern Germany, while the national average is around 6%.

More than 1.5 million solar systems have been installed and are operational on residential and commercial rooftops in Germany, continues BSW-Solar. With the recent rise of battery storage options, increasing numbers of homeowners are jumping on the PV bandwagon, particularly in light of the government storage subsidies, which are expected to be in place until at least the end of the year.