Global solar PV installation for 2015 increased 34% over 2014 numbers, reaching an estimated 59 GW by the end of the year.
This, according to preliminary numbers from GTM Research published today.
“The fourth-quarter of 2015 showed that global PV demand is very much at the mercy of government support which can often be unpredictable and idiosyncratic, leading to often negative but sometimes positive outcomes,” said Mohit Anand, a senior solar analyst with GTM Research.
Most importantly, towards the end of 2015 the decision by the US Government to extend the Investment Tax Credit showed just what an impact government support can have on the market, with the US share of expected global PV demand between 2015 and 2020 increasing from an average of 10% to 15% as a direct result of the ITC extension.
GTM Research is also predicting a substantial increase in solar PV demand in the Asia Pacific region (excluding China) in 2016 and beyond, but a reduction in Feed-in Tariffs in Japan, the UK, and China have tempered global expectations.
Looking specifically into 2016, GTM is predicting the US and China to lead the way towards a total installation of 64 GW, though emerging markets are expected to continue playing more of a role over the next decade. Earlier this month the PV Market Alliance revealed figures of its own which showed emerging markets began making an impact on global solar numbers, with the Americas installing 1.5 GW, Asia (excluding India and China) installing 2.5 GW, and the Africa and Middle East region contributing a further 1 GW.
GTM Research predicts that India will become more established, while Brazil and Mexico will find themselves tested to meet their own ambitious targets. Other countries such as the Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in Asia, and Uruguay, Guatemala, and Panama in Latin America are all expected to continue moving forward and break through the 100 MW barrier.
“We also have to keep in mind the importance of COP21 for the diversification of global markets for PV, especially across emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, and Africa,” said Anand. “Many of those countries have pledged substantial goals for deploying renewables and mitigating climate change and PV is seen as a quick, cost-effective, and scalable opportunity within that.”