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Published on March 24th, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill


Mercom Forecasts Almost 55 GW Of Solar For 2015

March 24th, 2015 by  

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.”


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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  • JamesWimberley

    Mercom is at the optimistic end of the forecasters, but even it predicts a slowdown in growth from the 2013-2014 baseline of 23-24% to a mere 16%: down by a third. Danged if I can see why. The bad news in Italy and Germany is all in the past. Policy-driven slowdowns are coming in the UK and Japan, but only in 2016; in the US, in 2017. Everybody else is set fair. Costs keep falling, and the industry is in profit. Anybody take a small bet that the 2015 outturn will be on the sunny side of 60GW (+28%)? Using EPIA data.

    • Aku Ankka

      I hope it will be higher, but probably the big question really is which countries would go from small to big installers, since even if big players did retain their current levels, level of growth can’t go up without rates growing somewhere else.

      It could also be due to inertia: Chile and South-Africa are growing with utility, and hopefully rooftop installations get proper grassroots growth over the globe. Those are probably more difficult to track as well, and could be underestimated for that reason.

      • JamesWimberley

        I surmise that the statistics are mainly based on shipments recorded by manufacturers. Counting installations at the other end is hard, and as you say getting harder all the time. Who’s counting offgrid pv in Indonesia and Tanzania, let alone Somalia? A small slice of the pie at present, but growing.

    • Mike Shurtleff

      I’ll bet over 60 GW in 2015.

      Findlay Colville predicts this, mentioned here:

  • Kraylin

    Any info on why Germany’s deployment of Solar is actually going down? Is it because they are reaching some sort of saturation level because I always thought Germany was big on Solar.

    Any stats for Canada’s intentions?

    Thanks for the article!

    • Philip W

      Feed in tariffs are pretty low now in Germany right now and will be gone soon.
      Installation rate will hopefully rise again when solar panels are getting even cheaper and most importantly battery storage is getting economical so people can actually use their own electricity.

  • Shiggity

    The really exciting trends to watch are when countries first break through the 1GW barrier. A lot of small ‘poor’ countries are going to be breaking it and not a lot of people know about them. Chile, Bangladesh, and the Czech Republic come to mind.

    The core countries will be blowing past 100GW in no time.

    • Bob_Wallace

      REVE is a good site to look at for info about new wind and solar installations in countries not often covered on most sites.

      Front page today has articles on Vietnam, Mexico, Myanmar, Costa Rica, Morocco, Ghana, and Pakistan along with more commonly covered countries.

      And they use a lot of pretty pictures…

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