IHS Drops 2016 US Solar Forecast Due To ITC Extension

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Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon

IHS Research Updates Global Solar Installation Outlook To Show Impact Of US Tax Credit Extension

With the recent passing of the federal investment tax credit for solar energy extension, IHS Research has gone ahead and released an update on its global solar installation outlook — showing the predicted impact of the extension.

The new updated outlook increases the projection for US solar installation capacity growth for 2017 from 6-7 gigawatts (GW) to 15 GW, but actually decreases the outlook in the US for 2016 to 13 GW, from 17 GW — owing to the “overbuild” that occurred in expectation of the expiration of the tax credit.

The year-by-year global predictions from the updated outlook are:

46 GW in 2014
58 GW in 2015 (+26% year over year)
67 GW in 2016 (+16% year over year)
71.5 GW in 2017 to (+7% year over year)

Overall, these predictions are in line with the IEEFA’s predictions — which forecast 56 GW of capacity installed globally in 2015, 65 GW in 2016, and 72 GW in 2017.

Here’s more from a recent press release:

At an investor-day event in December, the US company SolarCity highlighted how all new US installs have averaged 15-20 GW annually of gross new generation capacity since 2010. Of this, distributed solar represented 22% of total installs the first half of calendar year 2014 (with installed capacity growing at a compound annual growth rate of 40% since 2010), and utility scale solar another 23% — so solar was 45% of total gross capacity installs in the US. SolarCity forecasts install volume growth guidance of 43% year over year in 2016, and targets total installed cost to decline an additional 20% from the 2015 third-quarter realized average of US$2.84/w to a target of US$2.25/w.

Image by SolarCity

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