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Global Solar Market To Install 73 GW In 2016 Before 2017 Slowdown

The global solar industry is expected to install 73 GW of new solar capacity in 2016 before 2017 begins a multi-year slowdown, tied to policy turmoil in several of the largest solar markets in the world.

These are the conclusions from the latest edition of GTM Research‘s quarterly Global Solar Demand Monitor, written by senior GTM solar analyst Mohit Anand, who identified five key trends that are set to shape the rest of 2016, and the next few years, in the global solar market.

Following a record year in 2015, in which the solar industry installed 51 GW, 2016 is on track to record yet another record year, growing by 43% to install 73 GW by year’s end. However, industry experts, including GTM Research and Mohit Anand, believe the global solar market is heading toward a slowdown in 2017, with installed capacity that year expected to drop 10%. Specifically, policy turmoil in China, Japan, and the UK is going to hit the overall industry hard — even though the US and India are expected to see growth in the triple digits.


Mohit Anand outlines five separate trends GTM Research is expecting to see in the second half of this year, outlining specifically the ramifications of decisions made in China, the US, Japan, the UK, and India.

Until 2012, Germany, the UK, and France led global solar demand, but in 2013 China began overtaking Germany as the country with the highest cumulative installations globally, and has since beaten Germany out every year in annual installations. Japan and the US are closing in on Germany’s heels, and over the next few years are expected to push Germany further down the rankings.


China will lead global demand in 2016 with 26.4 GW, followed by the US with 14.5 GW and Japan with 10.2. In fact, the top five countries — China, the US, Japan, India, and the UK — will account for 80% of all global demand in 2016. However, as can be seen below, China will begin to lose its controlling lead, giving way to increasing levels of installed solar demand throughout the rest of the world.


In fact, according to GTM, numerous emerging markets across the world are expected to each install in excess of 2 GW by 2020, with Latin America unsurprisingly leading the way with new markets in Mexico, Brazil, and Chile set to install a cumulative 26 GW by 2021. The Middle East and Turkey (MENAT) will add 19 GW from Algeria, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and the UAE, while in Asia, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia will together add 23 GW by 2021.

India and the US are both expected to see exceptional growth over the next few years, with India expected to see its installed capacity grow 127% this year, and the US to see the benefits of the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit create spillover that will impact 2017.

Japan, China, and the UK, however, are all dealing with policy modifications which are set to curtail the continuation of record-breaking levels of growth.

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