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30 Jan

Strong growth forecast for solar PV

Global solar photovoltaic demand is poised for explosive growth in 2014, and is set to reach 49 gigawatts (GW), up from 36 GW in 2013, according to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly.

As the basis for this trend, Q4 2013 solar PV installations are forecast to set another record quarter for the solar PV industry, exceeding the 12 GW mark for the first time ever. Furthermore, demand in Q1 2014 will also achieve record-breaking status, as the strongest first-quarter ever seen by the PV industry.

Over the six-month period from October 2013 to March 2014, the report expects that the solar PV industry will install almost 22 GW, which is greater than all the solar PV installations that occurred between 2005 and 2009, during the previous high-growth phase of the industry that was driven by the European market.

This 22 GW of new demand is equivalent to 120 megawatts (MW) of solar PV installed every day for six months, and equates to one new 5 MW solar farm being completed every hour of the day.

The record solar PV demand in Q4 2013 is heavily weighted towards the three leading countries for end-market demand - China, Japan, and the United States, with two-thirds of all solar panels installed in Q4 being located in these countries.

“The solar PV industry has reached a critical tipping point, with end-market demand hitting record levels almost every quarter,” said Finlay Colville, vice-president at NPD Solarbuzz. “This growth is being driven by leading module suppliers and project developers that returned to profitability during 2013, and which have now established highly-effective global sales and marketing networks.”