IHS remains cautious on PV market demand growth

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Market research firm IHS has retained a more bearish view of global PV market demand in 2014 and 2015 in a new white paper published today.

IHS implied that global PV installations in 2014 reached around 45.7GW, a significant difference to previous forecasts from NPD Solarbuzz that expected installs to reach nearly 50GW. IHS recently acquired the solar sector practice of NPD Solarbuzz.

IHS had initially forecasted global PV installations in 2014 to reach in the range of 40-42GW, around a 15% increase over guided installs of 35GW in 2013. Later industry consensus put 2013 installs at around 38GW. 

Recently, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) guided final 2014 installs to be 48.4GW and forecasted installs to reach 58.3GW in 2015. 

Mercom Capital has also recently guided global PV installations to have reached around 47.5GW in 2014 and forecasted installations to reach around 54.5GW in 2015. 

Both BNEF and Mercom Capital have been consistently conservative in previous forecasts, in contrast to former NPD Solarbuzz in 2014. 

Former senior PV market analyst and vice president of NPD Solarbuzz, Finlay Colville was responsible for bullish 2014 forecasts while at NPD Solarbuzz after restructuring its forecasting methodology due to forecasters' perennial underestimates of global PV market demand. 

IHS would seem to be maintaining its hawkish forecasting, while discounting forecasts issued by former NPD Solarbuzz for 2014 and 2015.

IHS noted that it expected 2015 global PV installations to be between 53GW to 57GW in 2015, indicating a growth range of 16 to 25% over its guided 2014 installations. 

On a geographical basis IHS projects that the largest markets in 2015 will again be China, Japan and the US, while the largest contributors in terms of absolute growth are expected to be China, US and India.

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