Global PV installations within 2015 are expected to reach 57.4GW, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

Mercom’s forecast has been revised upwards from its previous update due to “positive news coming out of China along with revised installation goals”, said Raj Prabhu, chief executive and co-founder of Mercom Capital Group.

China has increased its PV installation target up by 20% to 17.8GW in the last three months.

Prabhu added: “With the specific steps put forward by the National Energy Administration (NEA) and the 5GW already installed in the first quarter, 17.8GW is a more achievable target this year. Omission of a specific installation target for distributed solar projects, which contributed to missing the 2014 goal, is a positive.”

However, Mercom’s new figures came shortly after GTM Research announced a slightly lower prediction of 55GW globally this week. Referring to China, it cited reduced coal-fire tariffs and delayed feed-in tariff payments as barriers to China reaching the 17.8GW for which the Chinese government has funding available.

Mercom’s report found that China, Japan (10GW) and the US (8.8GW) are expected to account for around 60% of installations this year.

Germany’s forecast has been reduced to 1,300MW for 2015. Germany’s downward trend continues with only 400MW installed in the first four months of 2015 compared to 622MW installed in the same period the previous year.

Mercom expects US projects to ramp up ahead of the 31 December 2016 federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) expiration. Consequently 2015 and 2016 are forecast to be the US’s two best years ahead of the deadline.

The UK is also expected to have its best year for solar installations in 2015 as a result of a surge of installations ahead of renewable obligation certificate programme closing for plants above 5MW last April. Smaller projects are expected the drive the market from now on.

Mercom also revised its India forecast to 2.2GW.

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