The world of solar is shifting. Overall the amount of solar energy installed is growing a rapid pace with Mercom Capital predicting that 46 gigawatts of solar will be installed across the world in 2014. However where the solar is being installed is moving away from Europe into Asia and the Americas. While Germany had led the world in solar installations for much of the past decade it will be a distant forth in the market in 2013 and 2014.
The overall expected growth is up significantly from the 37 gigawatts Mercom estimated were installed in 2013 (final figures aren’t in yet). And it’s in line with growth projections laid out in NPD Solarbuzz’ latest Marketbuzz report, which anticipates that the global solar installation market will grow to 100 gigawatts a year by 2018. However the figures are down slightly from Mercom’s figures in later 2013, when it anticipated 49 gigawatts of solar power in 2014.In 2014 however the big player is going to be China. That country had set it's 2014 goals at 12 GW and 2014, but that was in December. “China recently announced an aggressive 14 GW installation goal, a 2 GW increase since our previous update in December 2013,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom. Still, the company expects that China will install roughly 13 gigawatts of solar in 2013.
Mercom projected that Japan will install roughly the same amount of solar that it did last year between (7 gigawatts and 7.5 gigawatts. But, “Japan faces some challenges, however, as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) weeds out projects that, although approved, are unlikely to be built,” Mercom said. It added that Japan’s feed-in-tariff (FiT) may be reduced next month and a the country is considering a three percent sales tax increase, both of which could dampen demand.
Thanks to be continued demand for utility scale solar projects in the U.S. The country is anticipated to install 6.4 gigawatts of solar in 2014. Mercom also said the solar leasing market in the U.S. has driven of residential solar installations, “with third party finance companies raising $3.3 billion in residential and commercial tax equity funds in 2013.”
Expect a lot rooftops in China to go solar, too. “Within the new 14 GW goal, China has set an aggressive target of 8 GW for distributed generation and another 6 GW for utility-scale projects with specific quotas in individual provinces,” Mercom said.
Meanwhile the German lion is curling up. While the country led the world in solar installations prior to 2013, it’s now slowing down. Mercom anticipated that it will install about 2.75 gigawatts of solar in 2014. And in the future that could wane to 2.5 gigawatts of solar a year.Tweet