Solar Outlook

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has said that preliminary estimates indicate that new PV solar installation reached 39GW in 2013, up 28% from 2012 and driven by massive growth in China, Japan and the US in particular. Total investments in solar PV installations in 2013 exceeded $100 billion. A survey of the world’s leading solar analysts predicts a further PV capacity growth in 2014 of 44.5 GW, underpinned by strong Chinese growth. That brings totaled installed capacity to almost 150 GW by the end of 2013. The cumulative global installed PV capacity stood at almost 102 GW at the end of 2012, compared to only 71 GW at the end of 2011.

China installed a record 12GW of solar power in 2013, doubling the capacity of previously installed solar energy plants, according to preliminary figures. This is more than has ever been installed by any country in a single year. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, this figure may even rise to 14GW due to a rush to install solar energy towards the end of 2013 due to a feed-in tariff for large photovoltaic projects coming to an end by January 1, 2014.

In total China added just over 100GW of new power generation capacity in 2013. According to figures from BNEF, this is larger than the entire electricity capacity of the UK or South Korea.

The Chinese government is targeting up to 14GW of additional solar capacity this year, 60% of which they are aiming to be from roof-top installations rather than large-scale projects.

Japan added approx. 7MW of new solar PV capacity in 2013, which is equivalent to the size of the new installation market in Germany for the previous three years until 2012. This is more than four times the capacity added in 2012. The Japanese FIT was launched in 2012, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. It was revised in April down to its present 42 yen (~$0.43). The Japanese Market continues to remain strong ahead of the April 2014 FiT cuts.

Both, Germany and the United States installed slightly more than 4 GW of new capacity in 2013, which for Germany meant a drop of more than 40% of the market, while for the US is was a market increase of more than 20% to a totaled installed capacity of meanwhile more than 10MW.


Generation from solar PV is expected to more than triple from 100 terawatt-hours to 358 terawatt-hours between 2012 and 2018.