Global solar photovoltaic (PV) installations added during Q4’14 are forecast to exceed 19.5 gigawatts (GW), pushing global cumulative PV deployment toward the 200 GW mark. The amount of solar PV deployed in Q4 is forecast to be equivalent to the energy supplied by five large-scale nuclear power plants and will surpass the total annual solar PV deployed in 2010.
According to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly report, this record quarterly figure will be driven in large part by China, and will ensure that the PV industry approaches the previously forecast 50 GW annual installation level in 2014.
The Chinese market is driving year-end growth, with the Q4 demand forecast to exceed 7 GW, more than doubling Q/Q, and up more than 10% compared to Q4’13. Japan and the United States are also expected to add several gigawatts of demand during Q4. These three major countries will account for approximately 70% of PV deployed in this period.
Figure: Q4 Solar PV Demand and Year-End Cumulative Installed PV
Source: NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly, September 2014.
With the PV industry approaching a more balanced supply-and-demand environment, investments in new manufacturing facilities are likely to be announced soon. “Global PV end-market demand continues to set new records, restoring investor confidence in the PV industry after several years of overcapacity and declining profits,” said Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “Having been put on hold over the past six months, due mainly to trade-related uncertainties, record quarterly and annual shipment levels will prove crucial to investors that have been hesitant to commit to new capacity funds.”