June 8 (Renewables Now) - IHS Markit today reduced its forecast for global photovoltaic (PV) installations in 2018 to 105 GW from 113 GW after China's sudden policy shift on Friday.
This would still represent 11% growth over 2017 as the analyst firm expects accelerated demand around the world to partially make up for the drop in China. IHS Markit cut is forecast for 2018 installations in China to 38 GW from 53 GW and said that most of that would already have been completed in the first half of year.
For the global PV industry the remainder of 2018 will be characterised by overproduction and high competition among suppliers, according to the firm. "The price war China’s announcement has already set off will serve to reignite PV demand in regions with pent-up demand, where buyers have kept projects on hold while waiting for lower module prices," IHS Markit says.
Lower module prices are expected to benefit markets such as India and Australia. In Europe, they will speed up installations if the Minimum Import Price (MIP) is removed in August, while in the US, they will offset the 201 case import duties and drive up module imports.
IHS Markit adds that the volume of installations will depend on the willingness of quickly emerging regions to buy modules in the second half of 2018 or wait for further price falls.
According to the firm, a bigger question mark hangs over the outlook for the next two to three years. It, however, thinks that after another cycle of oversupply, low profitability and consolidation in the industry, solar energy will enhance its competitiveness across new markets.
IHS Markit is the latest market analyst to reduce solar demand forecasts in the wake of China's announcement.