Although the solar industry has been in an extensive slowdown, the number of global photovoltaic (PV) installations is expected to rise again; exceeding 40 gigawatts (GW) for the first time and generating installation revenue of $86 billion. Annual solar installations are predicted to expand at a rate of 18% in 2014, reaching a total of 41 GW.
The report, by IHS Inc., states that the increase in installations will be driven by low system prices, the creation of new markets in emerging regions, and the continued growth in major countries including the United States, Japan, and China. Although there have been continued cuts to government incentives in mature PV markets, expansion is still expected. In Europe, however, established markets such as Germany and Italy will continue to remain stagnate or fall, whereas the markets in emerging countries, such as Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia are expected to grow.
It is anticipated that the acceleration in demand will begin in the fourth quarter of 2013, with 9.8 GW worth of PV installations set to be completed. China is projected to be the driver of the year-end rush, when government subsidies are still in force, with more than 2 GW of installations slated. Solar power still remains the third most important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed capacity, following hydro and wind power.