The annual solar power installations worldwide are expected to reach 64.7 GW in 2016 compared to the 57.8 GW projected for 2015, with China, the US and Japan accounting for roughly 65% of next year’s additions.
This is the latest forecast by clean energy consultancy Mercom Capital Group LLC, released on Monday.
China is seen to deploy some 19.5 GW of solar capacity in 2016, thus maintaining its position as the largest solar market globally. In January-September 2015, the Asian country has already installed nearly 10 GW, but curtailment and delayed subsidy payments continue to be obstacles, the clean energy consultancy said. It added that the government is expected to raise its 2020 installation target to 150 GW-200 GW.
Meanwhile, the US is projected to take Japan’s place as the second largest solar market by installing around 13 GW of solar in 2016. The US’ best year for such installations will come as a result of the rush to complete projects before the 30% investment tax credit (ITC) is decreased to 10%. The forecast may need a revision should solar projects be allowed to enter the construction phase by December 31, 2016 instead of reaching completion, or if an ITC extension is agreed.
The third largest solar market for 2016 is expected to be Japan, with 9 GW of projected annual installations. Mercom noted that the Japanese government has now reduced the local feed-in tariff (FiT) for solar power twice in a year, but its long-term strategy is focused around renewables rather than nuclear energy.
At the same time, India is seen to add 3.6 GW in 2016 compared to 2.1 GW in 2015.
In Europe, the UK is expected to be the top solar market, followed by Germany and France.
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