According to IHS, a total of 272.4 GW of solar PV will be installed worldwide over the next three years. Broken down, 2016 is set to see installations totaling 65 GW, while 65.5 GW are expected to be installed in 2017, 68.4 GW in 2018 and 73.5 GW in 2019. For this year, the market analysts recently raised their forecasts from 57.3 to 58.7 GW.
Looking to next year, IHS says the top five markets will comprise China, the U.S., Japan, India and the U.K. "Strong" PV production and shipments are anticipated in 1H, particularly in China and the U.S., due to various policy measures, like the expiring U.S. ITC tax credit and installation deadlines. This demand, coupled with supply restrictions from the trade disputes, is expected to see prices remaining stable for the first half of the year.
The analysts see solar PV module production going from just under 180 GW in Q4 2015, to just under 170 GW in Q1 2016, and then climbing to nearly 180 GW in Q2. Average selling prices (ASPs) during this period are expected to stay flat at just under US$0.60/Wp. Going into H2, ASPs are forecast to fall. 2017 is set to experience a "slump," says IHS, which will negatively impact ASPs and margins in 2H 2016.
"There will be some buildup of inventory, and module price declines will be much heavier than they were in 2015 and during the first half of 2016. A slump in global PV demand in 2017 looks increasingly likely, as the United States is expected to suffer a major decline in 2017, following planned significant reductions in the countrys investment tax credit," comments Edurne Zoco, senior manager and principal analyst, IHS Technology.
He adds that an around 7.8 GW decline in annual utility-scale installations will be seen in 2017, although the rest of the market will grow by 11%. "Its important to note that new policy regulations and incentives in other global markets could mitigate some of the forecasted slowing growth in 2017," Zoco concludes.