Global solar installations are expected to reach 66.7 GW in 2016, thanks to strong growth in China, the US, Japan, and India, according to Mercom.
According to Mercom Capital Group’s new Solar Market Update, China, the United States, Japan, and India will make up the top four solar markets in the world this year, pushing total global installations to 66.7 GW.
“Solar installations are forecasted to grow year-over-year globally despite recent headwinds in the sector with solar stocks, yieldcos, bankruptcies, and the negative perception surrounding solar public companies,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group. “Solar has grown from just 2.6 GW in 2007 to a forecasted 66.7 GW in 2016 showing impressive resiliency along the way as it becomes one of the fastest growing new generation sources around the world.”
Mercom, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, expects China to increase its yearly solar installations up from 2015’s 15.1 GW to 18.5 GW by the end of 2016. China has already installed almost half of that figure, with new figures from the country’s National Energy Administration revealing that China installed 7.14 GW of new solar capacity in the first quarter of 2016 alone, bringing the country’s cumulative total up past 50 GW.
The US market will benefit from the extension of the Investment Tax Credit, with a conservative estimate of 13.5 GW of new solar capacity installed in 2016.
Japan is expected to install around 10.5 GW of solar in 2015, pushing hard towards its current goal of 28 GW of new solar installed by 2020. However, Japan cut its feed-in tariff in March by 11%, from “an overly generous FiT in 2012 of ¥42 (~$0.387)/kWh, it is now down to ¥24 (~$0.221)/kWh.”
Finally, Mercom expects India to install over 4 GW in 2016, bringing it into the fourth spot globally.
In Europe, the top three markets are the UK, Germany, and France.