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Global Solar PV Capacity Expected To Soar By 177%

Global solar PV capacity is expected to increase by 177% from 2014 levels to reach 498 GW by 2019, according to new research from IHS.

Alongside increasing capacity, IHS notes that “the large number of discrete country markets at the gigawatt-level will help reduce demand volatility.” China and Japan will again lead the way, followed by the US and UK, but a number of other countries spread across the continents will also see their demand for solar PV capacity increase over the next five years.

IHS PV Demand by Segment Chart

This, according to the latest IHS Marketbuzz report, “the most comprehensive global solar PV industry research, now backed by IHS.” The title of “most comprehensive global solar PV industry research” used to belong to NPD Solarbuzz, but after IHS acquired the company in November of 2014, that title now covers both entities.

“Last year, the market began to shift toward a more supply-driven market, characterized by high utilization rates, following the more demand-driven market that led to PV manufacturing consolidation,” said Susanne von Aichberger, solar industry analyst for IHS Technology. “This trend is expected to continue through to 2019, when the utilization rate at module production is projected [to] exceed the peak utilization rate reached in 2010, when the global market experienced explosive growth.”

Many of the trends predicted to dominate the next five years are already in place now, as seen by China and Japan accounting for half of total demand in 2014, and the US, UK, and Germany accounting for another quarter of total solar PV capacity demand.

The Marketbuzz report predicts that global solar demand is expected to reach 75 GW in 2019, a 66% increase on 2014 levels.


This demand will be spread over a number of countries, which IHS analysts believe will smooth over any possible volatility the market might have encountered if it again was left to several major markets to control demand.

“In the five years between 2015 and 2019, IHS expects that 11 global markets will exceed the average annual demand level of 1 gigawatt,” von Aichberger added. “This large number of country markets reduces the risk of another explosion in the global PV market and of an overly strong capacity build-up. An increasing number of markets are entering the post-feed-in-tariff phase and embracing the integration of PV into the electricity market, which will help the market to avoid boom-and-bust situations.”

a-Si ASP Chart

According to IHS analysts, the average selling prices of standard c-Si modules are forecast to decline by 27% between now and 2019, reaching $0.45 per watt. The share of thin-film modules produced over the time is expected to decline from 8% in 2015 to 7% in 2015, and remain at 7% through 2019.

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