Global solar growth in 2015 impressive at 34%, but government policy still key: GTM Research

Global solar PV installations for 2015 totalled 59GW according to a new report, marking a 34 per cent increase over the total installed in 2014.

The report, based on preliminary numbers from GTM Research, draws a strong line between solar growth and government policy, pointing to the extension of the US federal Investment Tax Credit in December as a prime example of how a “huge upswing is possible” with government support.

GTM research global PV demand“The fourth quarter of 2015 showed that global PV demand is very much at the mercy of government support, which can often be unpredictable and idiosyncratic, leading to often negative but sometimes positive outcomes,” said Mohit Anand, a senior solar analyst with GTM Research.

According to GTM Research, the US share of expected global PV demand between 2015 and 2020 increased from an average of 10 per cent to 15 per cent due to the ITC extension, even despite a substantial increase in demand expected for the Asia-Pacific region (apart from China) in 2016 and beyond.

On the other hand, FIT pullbacks in Japan, the U.K. and China served to temper expectations, the report said

GTM Research says it expects 64GW of solar PV to be installed globally in 2016, led by the US and China.

The report adds that emerging markets are also expected to play a prominent role, with India becoming more established as a reliable multi-gigawatt market, while Brazil and Mexico will be tested for their ability to meet their ambitions with actual project execution.

Others like the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh in Asia and Uruguay, Guatemala and Panama in Latin America will move forward and try to break through to 100 megawatts, the report said.

GTM Research forecasts the cumulative worldwide PV total to reach 321GW by the end of 2016.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd