IHS Trims Global PV Forecast

October 9, 2014 By Karen Henry

IHS-global-solar-energy-manageIHS Technology has trimmed its forecast for global PV solar installations in 2014 by 1.5 GW due to weaker-than-predicted performance in several key markets. However, this is still a 20 percent increase from 2013.

Global photovoltaic solar installations will rise to 45.4 GW in 2014, with 32 percent of this total, or 14.4 GW, coming in the fourth quarter. More than half of global demand during this period is expected to come from China (5 GW) and the United States (2.3 GW).

The United Kingdom and Japan achieved strong installations in the first half of the year. However, there were also declines in Europe and in countries that typically undertake more installations toward the end of the year. Germany and Italy will see another year of market decline with 2.1 GW and 0.8 GW of new installations in 2014, respectively, down from 3.3 GW and 1.7 GW in 2013.

The Chinese government adjusted its target for distributed PV (DPV) to 13 GW, which is now in line with the IHS forecast. However, IHS predicts that ground-mount PV will dominate the market this year, as DPV struggles with the lack of suitable rooftops and difficulties in obtaining financing.

US installations are forecast to follow a similar seasonal pattern in the final quarter of 2014. IHS predicts that 33 percent of US installations in 2014 will be completed in the fourth quarter.

The UK saw a boom in utility-scale installations in the first quarter of 2014 as developers took advantage of the renewable obligation certificates (ROC) scheme. IHS forecasts 3.0 to 3.2 GW of new installations in 2014, making the UK the fourth largest market this year after China, Japan and the United States. Following a strong first quarter in 2015, utility-scale installations are expected to fall, leaving residential and commercial rooftops as the main sectors.

While annual growth of global PV installations in 2013 and 2014 will be more than 20 percent, IHS is forecasting increases to slow to 16 percent in 2015.

China’s market is projected to grow by 30 percent in 2014 and then slow to 10 percent in 2015, but the country will remain the largest end market globally.

Installations in Japan are expected to peak in 2014 at 9.1 GW, before declining slightly in 2015.

Emerging regional hot spots across the globe represent opportunities for growth, and IHS predicts such markets will steadily increase their share.

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