A new report out from Mercom Capital Group anticipates that the by the end of 2015 the world will have roughly 57.4 gigawatts (GWs) of newly installed solar power. That’s about 12.4 more gigawatts of installed solar power than the roughly 45 gigawatts of solar that was installed in 2014.
In terms of year over year growth it represents a 28 percent increase, much less than the 135 percent increase seen between 2008 and 2009 and the 136 percent increase seen between 2009 and 2010. But then only 7.2 gigawatts of new solar power came online in 2009. Jumping to 17 gigawatts of new solar the next year and 27.5 gigawatts of new solar the year after were significant jumps for the solar industry. But the 57.4 gigawatts slated to come online this year is the biggest increase in actual gigawatts yet. “We are revising our forecast upwards since our previous update due to positive news coming out of China along with revised installation goals,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group. “With the specific steps put forward by the National Energy Administration and the 5 GW already installed in the first quarter, 17.8 GW is a more achievable target this year. Omission of a specific installation target for distributed solar projects, which contributed to missing the 2014 goal, is a positive,” Prabhu said.
With the revisions Mercom anticipated that China, Japan and the U.S. will account for approximately 60 percent of the solar installed around the world in 2015. Japan will likely install nearly 10 gigawatts of solar in 2015 and the U.S. about 8.8 gigawatts of solar this year.
The Mercom report also anticipated that 2015 and 2016 will be the best years for solar before the potential, if not likely, expiration of the federal investment tax credit Dec. 31, 2016. It also pointed out the U.S. is an international leader in finding unique ways to reduce the financing costs of solar power, including using securitization and yieldcos. “In the first half of this year, third-party solar finance companies have raised almost $3 billion dollars in lease and loan funds, on course to make this the best fundraising year for solar lease companies. As the ITC expiration draws closer, we expect this activity to strengthen in 2016,” Mercom stated.Tweet