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Mercom Forecasts Almost 55 GW Of Solar For 2015

Mercom Capital Group has released its solar industry forecast for 2015, with predictions that the industry will install 54.5 GW.

In its latest quarterly update, Mercom Capital, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released predictions for 2015 while providing updated numbers on “actual installation numbers for 2014.” Specifically, Mercom referred to recent official installation figures out of China which showed that they did not do as well as they had hoped in both 2014 and 2013: According to Mercom, China released installation figures for 2014 of 10.60 GW, which means they missed their 13 GW target. China also apparently revised 2013’s numbers down from 12.9 GW to 10.95 GW — impressive numbers, but not as impressive as had previously been reported.

However, while these numbers “will have implications on total global installations,” Mercom is still “predicting another solid year for the global solar industry.”

“China and Japan have to overcome some implementation issues for 2015 to be another good year for global solar installations,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group. “On the positive side, new funding mechanisms are helping reduce the cost of financing and are bringing in new streams of funding into the sector.”

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Looking forward to the rest of 2015, Mercom makes no comment on China’s plans for 17.8 GW of solar in 2015, while conversely expecting Japanese installations to peak during 2015, thanks in part to a revised feed-in tariff for the financial year 2015. Mercom is predicting Japan to have installed approximately 9 GW of solar in 2014, and to match that again in 2015.

Heading further east, the US solar market is also predicted to “grow at a rapid pace in 2015,” expected to reach 8.5 GW “as installations accelerate with the looming ITC [Investment Tax Credit] expiration deadline at the end of next year.” 2016 is most definitely going to be a frantic year for the solar industry in the US, as many companies attempt to initiate construction before the end of the year, but as Mercom also notes, 2015 is not going to be left out of the ITC picture, with “the push for installations … already begun.”

Europe continues to see a slowing of solar installations, but whether that’s because of the existing baseload of solar installations decreasing demand or a lack of political will driving further expansion is yet to be seen. Germany installed only 1.9 GW in 2014, its lowest figure over the past five years, and Mercom predicts 2015 to be similar. The UK presented itself as the most attractive solar market in Europe in 2014, installing 2.2 GW and with Mercom expecting another 2.9 GW in 2015. The UK’s attractiveness for solar installations was boosted by the Renewables Obligation Certificates for projects larger than 5 MW, but Mercom is expecting 2015 to be the UK’s best year, before it begins to “decline thereafter.” Italy will also see a smaller installation figure in 2015, unless something changes to boost the industry’s health this year.

Completing our eastern circumnavigation of planet Earth, Mercom finished its predictions with a look at the Indian market. In total, Indian solar installations reached 883 MW in 2014, down a little compared to the 1,004 MW of 2013, but is expected to double in size to 1.8 GW in 2015.

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