Global solar PV installations are expected to push past 19.5 GW in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to new figures from analysis firm NPD Solarbuzz, reaching ever closer to a global cumulative PV deployment of 200 GW.
That global solar PV installations are pushing so hard and fast towards the 200 GW mark is of no real surprise given recent analyst predictions for countries such as China and Japan. The Q4’14 figures are nevertheless impressive, amounting to the energy supplied by five large-scale nuclear power plants and exceeding the total annual global solar PV deployed in 2010.
The figures are part of the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly report which each quarter addresses the solar supply and demand balance.
“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,” said Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “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
In their accompanying press release, NPD Solarbuzz note that the Chinese market is driving year-end growth, with fourth-quarter demand expected to exceed 7 GW — which more than doubles quarter-over-quarter and is up more than 10% over the same quarter a year earlier.
Japan and the United States round out NPD Solarbuzz’ “major countries”, the three forecast to account for approximately 70% of PV deployed in the fourth quarter.
An editorial written by Michael Barker earlier in September highlighted China, Japan, and India as the major drivers of global solar PV growth, as shown in the image below.
Cumulative Market Sizes & Compound Annual Growth 2008-2018
As I wrote at the time, “each bubble represents forecast cumulative market size by 2019, with the UK, China, and Thailand projected to have the highest 10-year CAGRs. These numbers are slightly exaggerated, however, due to the sub-100 MW size of the markets when the 10-year forecast period began (ie, 2008).”
In fact, NPD Solarbuzz released their latest Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly report a day later, highlighting China and Japan as primary drivers of growth in Q4’14, as seen in the graph below.
Solar PV Demand Forecast for the APAC Region
As is clear, China’s huge manufacturing capacity and ever-increasing home-market demand for solar PV is helping keep them at the top of the pile.