Global solar market ‘could hit 200GW by year-end’

Global solar photovoltaic (PV) installations set up during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2014 are expected to exceed 19.5GW, pushing combined international PV operation towards the 200GW mark.

That is according the NPD’s latest ‘Solarbuzz Quarterly’ report which reveals this record figure will be led by China and will ensure the solar PV industry approaches the predicted 50GW annual installation level in 2014.

The total solar PV output in Q4 is expected to equal the amount of energy supplied by five large-scale nuclear power plants, implying that the PV industry is approaching a more balanced supply-and-demand.

Major players

Q4 solar PV demand in China is anticipated to exceed 7GW, more than doubling quarter-on-quarter, and up more than 10% compared to Q4 2013. Japan and the US are also expected to add several GW of demand during Q4. These three countries are expected to comprise approximately 70% of global PV set up during this period.

NPD Solarbuzz senior analyst Michael Barker said: “Global PV end-market demand continues to set new records, restoring investor confidence in the PV industry after several years of overcapacity and declining profits.

“Having been put on hold over the past six months, due mainly to trade-related uncertainties, record quarterly and annual shipment levels will prove crucial to investors that have been hesitant to commit to new capacity funds.”

Q4 Solar PV demand and year-end cumulative installed PV

UK solar policy

The NPD report follows data released by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) last month which suggested that backing British solar power will boost jobs, drive economic growth and dramatically reduce the UK’s overall energy bill. The research concluded that bold Government action to back British solar could create 60GW of generation capacity by 2030.

Despite evidence that large-scale solar projects are on track to becoming the cheapest way to generate electricity here in the UK, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed last week that it will remove large-scale solar farms from the existing Renewables Obligation (RO) initiative.

Lois Vallely

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