Intersolar Europe: New global PV report set to forecast 50GW in 2015

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A new global PV market outlook report is to be launched later this month claiming to offer the most reliable source of market analysis available.

The report will be published by the PV Market Alliance (PVMA), a consortium formed last year of research bodies based in Europe, China, Japan, the USA and Latin America.

Revealing details of the report at the Intersolar Europe show in Munich today, Gaëtan Masson, director of the Becquerel Institute, one of the five bodies in the alliance, insisted the PVMA’s ‘Global PV Market Report’ would not be “just one more global PV market report”.

He said that one major shortcoming of other PV market studies was their lack of input from locally based analysts with specific knowledge of individual markets.

“What has happened in the last years in terms of market estimates done by consulting companies that have no good understanding of the local market is that they have overestimated by 10 or 15% the size of the market, which extremely dangerous,” Masson said.

Through the five main organisations in the alliance, plus input from a number of other country-focused bodies such as Bridge to India and SolarPower Europe, the PVMA’s report would cover around 99% of the global PV market, Masson said.

Aside from the Becquerel Institute the other organisations behind the alliance are AECEA, led by regular PV Tech guest author Frank Haugwitz, covering China; RTS Corporation covering Japan; SPV Market Research, led by veteran analyst Paula Mints; and Spain-based Creara, which has expertise on Latin American PV markets. The Becquerel Institute will cover Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the alliance.

As well as forecasting headline figures, Masson said the study would offer detailed insights into around 40 countries, covering aspects such as policy and incentive frameworks, and a breakdown of the likely share of centralised and decentralised PV expected in specific markets.

The report will be based on publicly available project grid connection figures, rather than shipment data used by other analysts.

Pressed on how the report would pull together data from different organisations using different methodologies, Masson said:

“We’ve known each other for quite a long time, in some cases more than 10 years and we’re used to working with each other. We speak the same language. We took a lot of time, not to align our methodologies but to make sure we’re speaking about the same thing.

“We have different cultures and different ways of looking at numbers, and some are more cautious than others in looking at different scenarios, but at the end the idea is the same. And the idea is not to look at different figures blindly, but to have an understanding of the countries where we would like to assess the market. And that’s the reason we went in the direction of this international consortium.”

Overall, the report, due for publication before the end of June, is forecasting 50GW in 2015 and 70GW a year by the end of the decade under a “reasonable scenario”. This could be as high as 90GW under a “very optimistic scenario” if markets such as India deliver on their ambitions, Masson said.

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