GTM Scales Down 2017 New PV Capacity Projection

With 81 GW Of Estimated New PV Capacity In 2017, GTM Research Believes Solar Can Rival Global Cumulative Nuclear Capacity
05:59 PM (Beijing Time) - 24. August 2017
n_report_GTM Scales Down 2017_ab 2017-08-24

By the end of 2022, solar PV capacity across the world will reach 871 GW, according to GTM Research’s Q2/2017 Global Solar Demand Monitor. The 81 GW forecast for 2017 is 4 GW below its earlier annual installation estimate for this year.

Key Takeaways

  • GTM Research scales down its expected solar PV capacity addition to 81 GW for 2017, compared to 85 GW predicted earlier
  • By the end of 2017, solar PV could rival global nuclear capacity, which currently stands at 391.5 GW
  • China’s progress in 2017 will determine if cumulative solar PV capacity will cross the expected 390 GW
  • India will see PV demand growing by 90%, while Japan could see 25 to 30 GW of its approved PV capacity being canceled in 2017

Earlier this year, GTM Research had projected the world to install 85 GW in 2017 (see GTM Forecasts 85 GW Demand In 2017). It has now brought down its estimates by 4 GW, predicting 81 GW of new capacity additions this year. The US research company doesn’t find this worrying as this is still a 4% YoY growth, which it considers “more sustainable” than the 55% growth in 2016. Moreover, 81 GW is still more than double the amount of solar installed in 2014 (39.7 GW). 2017 will also be the year when global PV capacity will exceed 80 GW for the first time.

The Q2/2017 edition of GTM Research’s Quarterly Global Solar Demand Monitor by GTM Research also states that by 2022, global solar capacity is likely to reach 871 GW. This would be about 43 GW more than the expected cumulative wind installations by that date and more than double of today’s nuclear capacity.

By the end of the current year, GTM Research forecasts that solar PV could rival global nuclear capacity. As of now, there are 391.5 GW of nuclear power plants operating globally, as per the Nuclear Energy Institute. By the end of 2017, GTM Research believes there will be around 390 GW of solar PV plants around the world, though the number may go up depending on how China fares. High costs, slow construction and competitive renewable alternatives are the major reasons that affect the growth of nuclear power.

For China, the report says it will install more than 30 GW PV in 2017. While it has not given a specific number in GW for the country in the online report summary, GTM does say China will account for 39% of global demand, which would be 31.6 GW. That is very conservative, when only taking into consideration that China installed 24.4 GW in H1/2017. However,  when taking also into account that another 10.5 GW was added in July 2017 in China, already reaching nearly 35 GW in the first 7 months of 2017, GTM will need to revise its numbers drastically upwards in its Q3 report. Recently, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd., published that  China could end the year with 40 to 45 GW of new PV capacity (see China Close To 35 GW PV End of July).

According to GTM Research, the US, after a 97% market growth in 2016, will see PV demand contract by over 16% YoY before the utility-scale pipeline is replenished. Japan will suffer as policy transition toward auctions, which will result in 25 GW to 30 GW of approved projects being canceled, though GTM estimates that installations of ‘over 7 GW are still likely in 2017.’  India, on the other hand, will have a very good year with a nearly 30 GW tender pipeline. Declining costs will spur 90% increase in India solar demand this year, it believes.

The Global Solar Demand Monitor Q2/2017 report can be bought for $2995 on the website of GTM Research.


Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani