I’ve seen two or three projections for new solar power capacity in 2013. They seem to be hovering between 30 GW and 35 GW. Mercom Capital Group is reportedly projecting 34.5 GW.
Mercom is attributing the solar power growth to low solar module prices as well as strong policies and potential in China, India, and Japan. As I just reported, India is aiming to add 8 GW of solar power by 2017. China is allocating $2 billion for solar power projects included in its Golden Sun Program, and is also giving out direct subsidies of 40 cents per watt. Meanwhile, Japan has a strong feed-in tariff for solar that has gotten its biggest banks into the solar game and bullish on the emerging market (not to mention citizens and investors from outside Japan).
The U.S., as I reported this week, is also looking to have a record year. It seems likely that more solar power will be added to the grid than any type of power other than natural gas.
Furthermore, while European leaders, including world leader Germany, won’t have a good a year as the past few, Europe will still install a good bit of solar power capacity.
What do you think — is 34.5 GW a bit high, too low, or just right?