Solar PV Industry To See Demand Hit 49 GW In 2014
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Solar photovoltaic demand is forecast to reach 49 GW in 2014, up from 36 GW this year, according to findings in the latest quarterly report from NPD Solarbuzz.According to the report, the fourth quarter of this year (Q4'13) will be another record quarter for the solar PV industry, exceeding the 12 GW threshold for the first time. Furthermore, demand in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1’14) will also set records.Over the six-month period from October 2013 to March 2014, the solar PV industry will install almost 22 GW, which is greater than all PV installations between 2005 and 2009, during the previous high-growth phase of the industry driven by the European market.NPD Solarbuzz says record solar PV demand in Q4’13 is heavily weighted toward the three leading countries for end-market - China, Japan and the U.S.
Two-thirds of all solar panels installed in Q4 will be located in these three countries.By the end of 2014, many of the leading Chinese crystalline silicon module suppliers will be reporting silicon and non-silicon costs below $0.50/w, NPD Solarbuzz predicts. The resulting growth in operating margins will then provide a solid foundation upon which to guide new capacity additions that have been on hold now for 18 months."Manufacturing over-capacity and pricing erosion within the PV industry was previously a key factor in limiting annual growth to 10%-20% between 2011 and 2013," says Finlay Colville, vice president at NPD Solarbuzz. "With a more stable pricing environment and the prospects of increased end-market globalization, NPD Solarbuzz forecasts a return to annual growth above 30% for the PV industry in 2014."
SunPower Corp. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) have launched a new financing program that will support approximately $220 million of residential solar lease projects.BofA Merrill and SunPower have worked together since 2009, when BofA Merrill began financing large solar projects SunPower designed and constructed for public agencies in California."With this investment in residential solar systems, we are expanding our portfolio of solar installations with SunPower beyond commercial and government entities to now include installations in individual homes," says Todd Karas, head of renewable energy finance at BofA Merrill. "This is consistent with our firm's overall 10-year, $50 billion environmental business initiative to help address climate change, reduce demands on natural resources and advance lower-carbon economic solutions."
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved two solar projects, one in California and the other in Nevada.The DOI says that the 300 MW Stateline Solar Farm Project will be built in San Bernardino County, Calif., on approximately 1,685 acres of public land located two miles south of the California-Nevada border. The facility will connect to the grid via a 2.7-mile 220 kV transmission line.The 250 MW Silver State South Solar Project, the DOI adds, will be located near Primm, Nev., on approximately 2,400 acres of public land.Both projects are proposed by First Solar and have commitments from Southern California Edison to purchase the output for 20 years, the DOI notes.According to the DOI, First Solar has agreed to undertake significant project design changes and mitigation measures to minimize impacts to wildlife, water, historical, cultural and other resources.
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