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Air Quality Source: NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly, June 2014

Published on July 10th, 2014 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Top 5 Solar Countries To Account For ~80% of Global Solar PV Demand In 2014 2H

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July 10th, 2014 by  

The solar PV market is growing fast, and especially so in the leading solar PV countries. The top 5 solar countries will account for nearly 80% of the global solar PV market in the second half of 2014. However, if you look a bit closer, the details indicate sharp differences within the top 5.

Chinese market share and Japanese market share have surged in recent quarters. The US has been rather stable. The UK has grown a bit. And Germany has fallen a great deal.

Source: NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly, June 2014Source: NPDSolarbuzz Quarterly, June 2014

In the second half of 2014, Solarbuzz projects that the US market and the Chinese market will together account for 54% of the global market. Strong growth has occurred within the Japanese market during the past few years thanks to its feed-in tariffs, and it is projected to be right behind the US. That market, interestingly, finds more remarkable peaks in the first quarter of each calendar year than in the latter part of the year. This is opposite the situation in China and the US. (The UK also shares Japan’s atypical growth pattern, but most of the world sees its peak in Q4.)

China, Japan, the US, and the UK are the ones to watch, according to Solarbuzz. They lead global demand now that leading European markets such as Germany and Italy are slowing down. Thus, these top four overshadow the others.

With nearly 80% of the world market going to the top five, this would set a record high in terms of market solidification. Companies seeking to compete on the global stage need to focus on size and interrelationships in these markets.

In another receent NPD Solarbuzz report, it was projected that the world would get up to 500 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV power capacity by 2018. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) are determined to succeed in this market as well, and they should be seeing strong growth in the coming years as well according to yet another Solarbuzz report. See our coverage of those below.

The Analyst Blog has more details about the latest report from Solarbuzzz if you want more of an inside look. And, of course, you could also go straight to the report linked above.

Related Stories:

UK Will Be Largest Solar PV Market In Europe In 2014, According To New Report — Over 120 Large-Scale Projects Approved For Construction

Middle East & Africa Solar PV Market To Surge By 50% In 2014

Solar PV Market May Increase To 500 GW By 2018

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About the Author

is an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.



  • Matt

    This cart need another line. Total GW installed per year. It is growing so fast, that a country can experience a drop in % of world installs in a year while still seeing a year to year growth in installs.

  • CsabaU

    This is not as insightful and balanced and overview as it should be. Germany has already a very high level of EXISTENT solar power in use (both relative and in absolute figures): http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-power-sector-27-percent-non-hydro-renewable-in-2014/150/537/80072/
    Italy has even higher relative penetration of solar power: http://www.photon.info/photon_news_detail_en.photon?id=86983
    Germany now see lack of storage of solar power as the main issue. When will US, China and Japan reach that position?

    • JamesWimberley

      I disagree. The energy transition requires solar to continue growing to the terawatt level, so it’s important to know who is enabling growth. Even Germany will need lots more solar capacity than it has now. The government target is 53GW. against 36 GW today; Volker Quaschning proposes 200GW.

      I suspect the downturn there is just a pause. Both homeowners and utility/commercial investors were scared off by the extreme talk surrounding the changes to the EEG. In the upshot, these aren’t too bad. Now the uncertainty has dissipated, I expect investment to pick up, driven by fundamentals: Germany’s low solar costs and high retail electricity rate.

  • Offgridmanpolktn

    It is great that so many grid feed solar farms are planned in the UK, but how many of these will get blocked by the obstructionist minister who gives final approval and the NIMBY’s discussed in previous articles over the past couple of months?

  • JamesWimberley

    The downside risks are much lower than they used to be. When the lead countries were Germany, Italy, and Spain, the motive for generous support policies was idealism: this proved vulnerable to real (Spain) or imagined (Germany) financial crises. The new pattern is far more robust. Cost reductions to near grid parity have meant that installation is less dependent on incentives generally, more on market forces.

    And in the new leading countries, these incentives are themselves more politically robust. US federalism means that policy is decentralised; Congressional Republicans may block a federal carbon tax, but state-level policies (and even city ones) keep up an adequate level of support. Japan’s solar policy is driven by the crisis in its nuclear industry following Fukushima. In China. it’s driven by regime-threatening smog from burning coal. These factors won’t go away soon.

    The “ROW” category has also changed in a significant way. In 2010 Spain and Italy were large players, but they’ve been been knocked out of the Solar Cup through injuries. In their place, we have a large number of countries just getting started, with large ambitions: India, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Thailand … Some of these will grow into giants.

    • Bob_Wallace

      In your list of countries include the “country” of California. Eighth largest economy in the world. And California has told Republicans to go piss up a rope.

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