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Solar Industry To Experience “Strengthening Recovery” In 2015, IHS

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Analytics firm IHS has released a series of 10 predictions for the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry in 2015, and is predicting the industry will experience a “strengthening recovery” over the year — though a recovery which may remain “fragile.”

The White Paper, published yesterday, outlines 10 predictions for 2015:

  1. Global solar PV demand to grow by up to 25% in 2015
  2. Concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) to see accelerated growth in 2015
  3. Distributed PV in China to fall behind expectations, but continue to grow
  4. Grid-connected PV energy storage installations to triple in 2015
  5. Emerging markets mature — Chile follows South Africa to reach 1 GW of installed PV capacity
  6. Monocrystalline technology to increase market share in 2015
  7. Systems up to 100 kilowatts to account for 30% of global installations in 2015
  8. Q2 halt to UK utility-scale PV triggers new wave of consolidation among European EPCs
  9. Three-phase string inverters to account for ⅓ of global solar inverter revenue in 2015
  10. California in 2015 will become global leader in solar power penetration

“Through mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies, the supplier base consolidated further, as companies struggled with debt-laden balance sheets and a rapid shift in their customer base away from their traditional markets,” said Ash Sharma, senior research director for solar at IHS. “All signs point to a strengthening recovery of the solar industry in 2015, even if the recovery itself remains incredibly fragile.”

The full White Paper can be downloaded from IHS, but there are several points worth pulling out here.

First of all, the big number — 25% growth in demand in 2015: IHS predicts that the ongoing cost reductions for solar PV will fuel demand, expected to grow at between 16% to 25%, with installations in the range of 53 to 57 GW over the year.

Unsurprisingly, China is expected to be the leading market again in 2015, followed by Japan and the United States — backing up many predictions made towards the end of 2014.


Image Credit: PV Installations for 2014 & 2015, via IHS

However, IHS also predicts that distributed PV in China is expected to fall behind expectations, despite growing — IHS believes that China will “struggle to achieve it [sic] aggressive targets,” reaching only 4.7 GW in 2014 (a still impressive 20% growth over projected 2014 numbers).

IHS also believes that “China’s position as the largest PV market in the world will continue from 2015 to 2017” — unsurprising considering the Chinese Government is targeting 100 GW of accumulative PV installations by 2020 (as part of the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan).

Finally, and continuing a long trend seen over the past few years, emerging markets will continue to mature in 2015, with new entrants into the top 10 including Chile, which is expected to reach 1 GW this year (following South Africa, which enters 2015 with 1 GW of installed PV capacity).

Attractiveness relative to market growth expectations


Image Credit: IHS Emerging PV Markets Tracket Q4 2014, via IHS

Other markets which IHS is focusing its attention on include Jordan, the Philippines, and Honduras, while “great uncertainty still surrounds Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey.”

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