New, preliminary research from GTM Research found that fully 59 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic power was installed across the world in 2015. That’s a 34 percent increase over 2014 and 2016 is expected to be even bigger.
In 2016 GTM Research anticipates that 64 gigawatts of solar PV will be installed in 2016. That will bring the global total to roughly 321 gigawatts of PV by the end of the year.
GTM Research’s predictions are largely in line with those of other analyst firms. Earlier this month IHS Research and the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis(IEEFA) anticipated that 48 gigawatts of solar was installed across the world in 2015. For 2016 that report anticipated 67 gigawatts of solar would be installed.
The research and media firm said that growth will be led by the U.S. and China. However, emerging markets, including India, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Uruguay and others in Asia and Latin America will become more established in 2016. India is expected to become a reliable multi-gigawatt market this year, GTM Research’s Mike Munsell wrote of the company’s research.
“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.
Beyond organic growth across the world to meet growing demand, two things will help speed deployment of PV. One was the extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in the U.S. and the other was the COP21 decisions that came out of the climate talks in Paris. “The U.S. share of expected global PV demand between 2015 and 2020 has increased from an average of 10 percent to 15 percent due to the extension,” Munsell said. “This is despite a substantial increase in demand expected for the Asia-Pacific region (apart from China) in 2016 and beyond.”
The COP21 decision will particularly expand solar in emerging markets, according to 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,” Anand explained.Tweet