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Will 2015 be a year of Solar Demand decline?

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Solar demand 2015

The solar industry has grown at a torrid pace in the last 5 years, growing from 8 GW per year to more than 40 GW last year as major countries such as China, Japan and USA ramped up their demand through proactive subsidy polices. So even as European demand declined sharply, these countries powered global solar demand. China has become a 10 GW plus annual demand country, while USA too has become a multi-GW country. Japan has also become an important source of demand, as the country shut its nuclear power capacity and looked to reduce its dependence on costly coal and LNG imports. But after two good years, solar demand in 2015 may decline. There are expectations that Japan could severely curtail its feed in tariff program, which has led to a massive boom in the country’s investments and solar demand. Japan could go down to 2-3 GW, from around 8 GW now as the country has already built up substantial capacity in the last couple of years. Like Germany, they would look to stabilize demand as the country after seeing a couple of boom years.

USA and China will also not see high growth rates, as these countries too have been installing large amounts of solar power. China is facing transmission constraints so the country should see the same 10-12 GW range, while USA could see some 20-30% growth. This means that a 5 GW shortfall in Japan will have to be made up. While India is looking to increase its solar power capacity by almost 30 fold in the next 10 years, I don’t expect India to be more than 2000 MW given that they installed just 700 MW this year.

I don’t think 2015 will see a decline in overall demand, though it may not be a high growth year. Solar cell and panel prices are declining slightly now as capacity is being ramped up by many of the top companies.


The China market originally set a target installation capacity of 14GWp for 2014 but, lagged far behind in the first half of the year, and has downward adjusted the target to 13GWp, the sources said. Although there has been a rush to install PV systems in the fourth quarter, total installation capacity in 2014 is expected to reach only 10GWp and that in 2015 will be flat at best, the sources indicated.Total installation capacity in the US is estimated at 5GWp in 2014 and is expected to remain unchanged in 2015, and for Europe total installation capacity is expected to reach 9GWp in 2014 and 2015, the sources indicated.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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