Solar, Utility Scale

Global Forecast: Solar Installation Capacity To Top 57 GW in 2015

Solar installations globally could grow by between 25 percent and 30 percent in 2015 compared to last year, according to Mercom Capital Group.

In its Solar Quarterly Market Update, Mercom said that installation numbers from the first half of the year indicate that the market is on track to total 57.4 GW in 2015.

According to the report, while China showed strong installations in the first half of the year — 7.7 GW — macro-economic conditions changed drastically in the last quarter. Those changes, however, did not have any direct effect on the solar market in the quarter.

Two major challenges in China this year have been curtailment — due to grid connection and congestion issues in some provinces — and delayed payments, the report said. Overall, strong demand for the second half of this year indicates that China could install 17 GW for 2015.

With a strong pipeline of projects, the U.S. market is headed for a robust 15 months of installations before the investment tax credit drops from 30 percent to 10 percent at the end of 2016, the report said, adding that the equity market has been rough for both solar companies and yieldcos in the last quarter and could affect the fundraising environment in the near future.

The report also said that while the U.K. is likely will see record installations in 2015, the government will drastically reduce feed-in-tariffs (FIT) and remove preliminary accreditation under the FIT scheme. Those changes, the report noted, will make it difficult for the U.K. solar sector to grow after 2015.