Global solar PV capacity rises despite policy changes says report

A new report predicts that the global cumulative installed capacity for solar photovoltaic power will hit 223.2 GW by the end of this year compared to 2014’s 175.4 GW.

And this, says the study, is despite the anticipated declines in the annual installations of several key countries.

The report from research firm GlobalData, states that China will remain the world’s largest market for annual solar PV installations in 2015, adding around 17.6 GW this year.

The US will follow with almost 8.2 GW of additions, while India will witness strong demand in its solar PV market thanks to growing policy and political support. Solar PV capacity to hit 223.2 GW

However, despite this overall growth, Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s head of power, said adjustments in the government policies of Germany and Japan will see their annual solar PV installations fall this year.

“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. This is due to ongoing feed-in tariff degressions, along with the €0.0617 [$0.0688] surcharge on self-consumption in 2015.”

Mathur added that Germany “is implementing initial measures to move away from expensive renewable energy subsidies and towards a reverse auction system by 2017. Two rounds of auctions took place in Germany earlier in 2015, with the third round expected to take place in December.”

Similarly, Japan’s lucrative solar PV policies, which had been attracting strong investment in recent years, have seen cuts in 2015 that will mean a reduction in installed capacity additions, compared with 2014’s record-breaking figure of 10 GW.

Mathur said: “With the arrival of the first solar PV FiT cut in April 2015, Japan’s FiT level decreased from $0.27 per kilowatt hour in 2014 to $0.24 per kWh, and further to $0.22 per kWh from July 1, 2015.

“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.”

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