Expect another banner year of growth from solar power across the world. At least that’s what IHS Research and the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis(IEEFA) are anticipating. IHS is anticipating 67 gigawatts of new solar power across the world in 2016 and a whopping 71.5 gigawatts of new solar power in 2017.
The expectations for both years show significant growth over what IHS saw in the past two years. It said 46 gigawatts of solar power were installed in 2014 and anticipated that 48 gigawatts of solar were installed in 2015—though final numbers aren’t in yet.
“IHS forecasts are broadly consistent with IEEFA’s,” IEEFA said. The institute anticipated 56 gigawatts of solar installed in 2015, 65 gigawatts in 2016 and 72 gigawatts in 2017.
In explaining the significant anticipated growth IEEFA explained, “Global solar development involves an ever larger number of countries pursuing electricity-sector diversification into solar, with major new markets emerging now in Chile, Brazil, France and Africa. The Philippines is currently installing the largest solar project it has ever undertaken, a 132 MW facility in Cadiz City.”
While the U.S. is now expected to install slightly less solar in 2016 because of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) extension (it’s still expected to install more solar in 2016 than in 2015) other countries are installing more solar power. For instance IEEFA said that in 2015 China, when it’s said and done, will have installed between 16 and 17 gigawatts of solar power, “possibly expanding further to 20GW per annum from 2016.”
As mentioned the U.S. solar market is expected to grow at a smaller pace in 2016. In IHS’ research note it observed without the extension of the ITC the U.S. solar market could have shrunk to 6.5 gigawatts in 2017. Now, “IHS forecasts U.S. installations to grow between 13G and 16 GW in 2017,” the firm said.
“The result of the extension to the solar ITC is not just good news for the U.S. solar market, but is a net positive for the global solar industry as a whole,” IHS said. “While prior to the extension of the ITC IHS forecast a 10 percent decline in global installations, this forecast has now been reversed. Global solar installations are now expected to reach between 66 gigawatts and 68 gigawatts in 2016, growing to between 70 gigawatts and 73 gigawatts in 2017.”
IEEAF said the net effect will continue to drive all-in solar electric system costs 5 percent to 10 percent per annum.Tweet