Fourth quarter PV install forecasts turning into a lottery

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Two of the major PV market research firms have two contrasting forecasts on global PV installations in the fourth quarter of 2014. 

Recently, NPD Solarbuzz projected global fourth quarter installations to reach over 19.5GW, while IHS has just forecasted 14.4GW, down from a previous projection of 15GW. 

Although both forecasts picture significant (record) PV activity squeezed into a 3 month period the knock-on is that full-year global installation forecasts from both firms remain as far apart as they did at the beginning of the year. 

IHS has actually lowered its last 2014 projection from around 47GW to currently 45.4GW. Weaker than expected installations in Europe, notably Germany and Italy were to blame. 

According to IHS Germany is only expected to install 2.1GW in 2014, down from 3.3GW in the previous year. Italy is expected to drop to 0.8GW of PV installs in 2014, down from 1.7GW in 2013.

In contrast, NPD Solarbuzz remains highly bullish, projecting that the 19.5GW plus of projected installs in the fourth quarter would result in full-year global installs reaching around 50GW or more. 

One thing that both firms can agree on is that China is not only expected to be the largest market again in 2014 but the goal of reaching 13GW of installs, as decreed by the Chinese government remains on track. 

However, IHS like BNEF had previously misread China’s ability to meet government targets, discounting heavily on the 10GW goal set in 2013. A year later and both firms are toeing the line. 

NPD Solarbuzz has a slightly more bullish take on China installs, projecting as much as 13.7GW could be installed in the country by year end. Solarbuzz said fourth quarter installations were expected to hit 7GW, double the previous quarter.

Yet, IHS is only saying that China will be installing “more than 5GW” in the fourth quarter, while recently suggesting that with only 3.7GW under construction at the end of August, at least another 6GW is needed to be installed before the end of the year to meet China’s 13GW target, based on IHS projections.

There is also a big discrepancy between IHS and NPD Solarbuzz on figures for the UK. IHS is significantly more bullish than its rival, forecasting the UK could become the fourth largest global market with 3.0 to 3.2 GW of new installations in 2014. 

In contrast, NPD Solarbuzz has become increasingly downbeat on UK prospects and does not expect new installs to exceed 2.5GW by the end of the year. 

The bullish stance taken by IHS on UK is based on the premise that project developers would rush to complete projects in 2014 to avoid possible bottlenecks and delays in grid connections that occurred last year in February and March ahead of incentive reductions. 

Recently, SEIA and GTM Research forecast that PV installations in the US would reach 6.5GW in 2014, up 36% from the previous year. 

The US installed 1.3GW in the first quarter and 1.1GW in the second quarter, requiring 4.1GW installed in the second half of the year to reach the 6.5GW forecast
IHS noted that it expected the US to install 2.3GW in the fourth quarter. 

With the SEIA/GTM figures and forecasts for the US market having become the de facto standard, both IHS and NPD Solarbuzz figures tend to hover around SEIA/GTM’s, which would indicate that around 1.8GW was installed in the third quarter, despite the SEIA/GTM figures for the quarter yet to be released. 

According to IHS, the second biggest market in 2014 is going to be Japan, with the market research firm forecasting installations of 9.1GW.

NPD Solarbuzz recently said that demand from Japan is forecasted to exceed 5GW in the second half of 2014, bringing full-year installs to around 10GW. 

2015 forecasting

IHS also noted that it expected PV market demand growth to slow slightly from the 20% growth rate expected in 2014. Countries such as Japan are expected to peak in 2014, while growth in China is expected to slow to 10% in 2015. 

As a result, global PV installations in 2015 are expected to reach around 53GW, indicating a growth rate of 16%. 

If we took the 16% growth rate of IHS and added this to NPD Solarbuzz’s expected 2014 installation level, then 58GW could be NPD Solarbuzz’s forecast for 2015. 

22 September 2021
To commemorate the World Energy Storage Day(WESD) on 22 September, being recognized worldwide, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising the 5th global conference and virtual expo, which will be held virtually on 22 September 2021. WESD is a global movement initiated by various apex trade bodies working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility & green hydrogen technologies for a sustainable future. The forthcoming edition of WESD is expected to attract global participation with an intent to facilitate bi-lateral trade, market development and new research and innovation, which will invite 100+ countries, 100+ regulators & policy makers, 100+ International speakers,1000+ organisations, 100+ partners & exhibitors and 20,000+ global delegates.
28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.

Read Next

September 22, 2021
More than 190 US solar companies have warned that proposed duties on imports of modules and cells from three Southeast Asian countries represent an “immediate and serious threat” to America’s solar sector.
September 22, 2021
Access to off-grid electricity should be seen as a key mechanism to drive rural development and improve economic wellbeing and living standards in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), according to a new report by University College London’s (UCL) Engineering for International Development Centre and off-grid, pay-as-you go solar company BBOXX.
September 22, 2021
A project combining 300MWac of solar with a 150MWac/600MWh battery energy storage facility in New Mexico has advanced after DE Shaw agreed to acquire it.
September 22, 2021
Generac Power Systems has bolstered its presence in the microinverter segment with the launch of a new product line that it says allows homeowners to take advantage of the full potential output of solar arrays.
September 22, 2021
Oil and gas major Shell has launched the Shell Energy brand in Brazil and has committed to investing R$3 billion (US$570 million) in renewables in the country by the end of 2025
September 22, 2021
China has appealed a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that rejected the country’s challenges to the US' safeguard tariffs on certain crystalline silicon PV cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021