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Solar PV Declines In Germany & Japan Won’t Affect 2015 Growth

Despite expected declines in key solar PV markets Germany and Japan, GlobalData is predicting solar PV growth will still grow in 2015.

Analytics and intelligence firm GlobalData published its Mid-Year Solar Power Market Update report in November — reports which are always trailing behind as accurate and complete information takes a while to filter through — which analyzed the trends of the solar PV market throughout the first half of 2015. The report specifically highlights the demand-supply scenario in major solar PV countries such as Germany, Italy, India, China, Japan, and the US.

According to the report, global cumulative installed solar PV capacity is expected to rise from 175.4 GW in 2014 to an estimated 232.2 GW in 2015, “despite the anticipated declines in the annual installations of several key countries” such as Germany and Japan. China will unsurprisingly take the lead as the world’s largest market for annual solar PV installations in 2015, expected to add around 17.6 GW, while the US will follow far behind in second place with an estimated 8.2 GW.

Germany and Japan are likely to see their own places decline, however, due to adjustments in their government policies, said Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s Practice Head for Power.

“After amending its renewable energy law in August 2014, Germany is expected to attain an annual installed capacity of around 1.8 GW in 2015 and will fail to hit the annual solar PV installation target of between 2.4 and 2.6 GW,” Mathur said. “This is due to ongoing Feed-in Tariff (FiT) degressions, along with the €0.0617 ($0.0688) surcharge on self-consumption in 2015.”

The same can be said for Japan, which has seen its “lucrative solar PV policies” cut in 2015, which in turn will see a reduction in the country’s installed capacity additions during 2015, especially when compared to 2014’s record-breaking 10 GW.

“With the arrival of the first solar PV FiT cut in April 2015, Japan’s FiT level decreased from JPY32 ($0.27) per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2014 to JPY29 ($0.24) per kWh, and further to JPY27 ($0.22) per kWh from July 1, 2015,” Mathur explained. “These cuts, put forward by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, ended the premium rates for solar PV, and were triggered by a maturing market that has seen the cost of solar operation and maintenance fall.”

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