NPD Solarbuzz have released their final 2013 NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly, and they are predicting that the solar PV industry is set for “explosive growth” in 2014.
December is always the busiest time of year for analyst firms, as they look back at the year that was and forward into the year to come. We’ve already seen NPD’s predictions for the Asia-Pacific region, predicting that half of global PV demand for the world will come from that one region, while IHS and the Mercom Group both released their 2014 analyses, predicting between 40 to 45 GW to be installed worldwide in the coming year.
But I’ve been waiting for the NPD Solarbuzz report, relying on their analysis and predictions over the others.
Figure: Solar PV End-Market Demand from 2008 to 2014
NPD Solarbuzz have seen 36 GW of installation in 2013, and are predicting that number to skyrocket in 2014, jumping up to 49 GW.
“The solar PV industry has reached a critical tipping point, with end-market demand hitting record levels almost every quarter,” said Finlay Colville, vice-president at NPD Solarbuzz. “This growth is being driven by leading module suppliers and project developers that returned to profitability during 2013, and which have now established highly-effective global sales and marketing networks.”
Q4’2013 is already set to be another record breaker for the solar PV industry, breaking 12 GW for the first time ever, leading into what NPD Solarbuzz believe will be the strongest ever first-quarter. The two quarters will see almost 22 GW of solar PV installed, a figure greater than all the solar PV installations that occurred between 2005 and 2009 — a period of time deemed ‘high-growth’ at the time.
As already explained in their Asia Pacific PV Markets Quarterly report, China and Japan are set to be the front runners for installations, closely followed by the US.
Another focal point for solar industry analysts at this time of the industry’s growth is the cost per watt of silicon and non-silicon costs. NPD predict that by the end of 2014, many leading Chinese manufacturers will be reporting costs below $0.50 per watt, allowing for growth through the following year.
“Manufacturing over-capacity and pricing erosion within the PV industry was previously a key factor in limiting annual growth to 10-20% between 2011 and 2013,” added Colville. “With a more stable pricing environment and the prospects of increased end-market globalization, NPD Solarbuzz forecasts a return to annual growth above 30% for the PV industry in 2014.”