New Projects, Solar

Driven by China, New Solar Installations to Reach 85 GW in 2017

By Editors of Power Engineering

Increasing demand for new solar power in China has caused analysts to boost their estimates for total new solar capacity installed by the end of 2017 to 85 GW.

GTM Research now estimates total global solar installations will reach 78 GW this year, fueled by Chinese demand for 34 GW, Greentech Media reported. By comparison, 51 GW was installed in 2015.

Total installed solar capacity now stands at 206 GW.

China’s solar acceleration will account for a full 30GW of the solar to be added this year, and push growth from the expected seven percent contraction to 9.4 percent growth, with a 5.3 percent compound annual growth rate through 2022.

GTM noted China has been a difficult solar market to track, because it’s subject to the unpredictable whims of the National Energy Administration. GTM now has two scenarios for China – one in which the country keeps cutting its feed-in tariff program, which would cause solar installations to slow gradually over time; and one in which the FIT program remains in place, which would cap solar emand and cause the country’s solar installations to fall more sharply.

The United States also experienced record-breaking solar growth with 14.6 GW installed last year. Demand was also strong in Japan, though GTM expects India will soon overtake Japan and become the third-largest global market.

Mexico, France, Australia and a number of Middle Eastern countries should also grow, though Germany and the UK are expected to slow.

Solar electricity prices are also falling worldwide, though they’re expected to stabilize in 2018.