India to Overtake Japan as the Third Largest Solar Market

The global solar market has yet to show signs of the turnaround after going through the turbulent 2016. The latest Gold Member Solar Report by EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, forecasts that the global PV demand for 2017 will total just 73.9 gigawatts. This year’s PV demand growth will be nearly flat for the first time after years of expansion. Also, the ranking of the top three regional solar markets will likely change this year, with India having the opportunity to displace Japan to become the world’s third largest.

“While China remains the largest regional market, its domestic PV installation target for this year is slightly lower than last year’s according to the latest government announcement,” said EnergyTrend analyst Celeste Tsai. “As for the second-place U.S., the country’s current political climate is not conducive to the growth of its PV market. At the same time, Japan will continue to lower its feed-in tariff rates over the next few years. Because India still maintains strong demand for PV products, it has the potential to overtake Japan to become the world’s third largest solar market by taking at least 14% of the year’s total PV demand.”

India’s cumulative grid-connected PV installations officially surpassed 9 gigawatts at the end of 2016, according to the country’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Furthermore, the Indian government has announced the bidding results for the building of the country’s and the world’s largest PV power plant – Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Project. Scheduled to begin operation in 2018, Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Project will make a huge contribution to India’s utility-scale PV demand.

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