U.K.-based energy consulting firm GlobalData forecasts that the global cumulative installed capacity for solar photovoltaic power will rise from 175.4 GW in 2014 to an estimated 223.2 GW this year despite the anticipated declines in the annual installations of several key countries.
The company's latest report states that China will remain the world's largest market for annual solar PV installations, adding about 17.6 GW this year. The U.S. will follow, with almost 8.2 GW of additions. India will witness strong demand in its solar PV market thanks to growing policy and political support.
Despite this overall growth, adjustments in the government policies of Germany and Japan will cause their annual solar PV installations to fall this year, says Ankit Mathur, head of GlobalData's power practice. ‘After amending its renewable energy law in August 2014, Germany is expected to attain an annual installed capacity of around 1.8 GW in 2015 and will fail to hit the annual solar PV installation target of between 2.4 and 2.6 GW,’ he says.
This is due to ongoing feed-in tariff (FIT) reductions along with this year's EUR 0.0617 ($0.0688) surcharge on self-consumption.
Similarly, Japan's lucrative solar PV policies, which have been attracting strong investment in recent years, have seen FIT cuts this year that will mean a reduction in installed capacity additions compared with 2014's record-breaking figure of 10 GW.
‘These cuts, put forward by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, ended the premium rates for solar PV and were triggered by a maturing market that has seen the cost of solar operation and maintenance fall,’ Mathur says.