2016 ended with a new record for the global photovoltaic industry. Analysis by the Germany-based market and economic research company EuPD Research shows that worldwide new PV installations totalled 76.4 GW, up 5 GW on the EuPDforcast.
With about 34 GW of newly installed PV systems in the year, China dominated the global PV market completely. The USA, Japan and India, followed as the largest PV sales markets in 2016. However for the coming year EuPD Research anticipates challenging framework conditions and a decline in new installations to 69 GW
China’s dominance as the largest sales market world-wide will also be the main problem in 2017, and for the coming years. At the end of 2016, a reduction in activity leading to a cumulative total of about 105 GW by 2020 was announced. Based on that, a decrease of new global PV installations in 2017 is most likely.
Analyses of EuPD Research expect a significant reduction of newly installed PV systems of around 10 to 12 GW in 2017. “On a global level, the entry of another competitive nation would be required in order to compensate such a sharp decrease in PV installations. However, none of the markets currently show the potential to compete with China … we forecast global PV installations of just around 69 GW in 2017” commented Markus Hoehner, CEO of EuPD Research.  
Besides China, the USA, Japan and India will be the largest sales markets for photovoltaics in 2017. With a market forecast of 7 to 8 GW, the European nations will account for around one tenth of the global PV installations. Although single nations such as Germany show a slight upward trend of new installations, it doesn’t play a significant role on a global scale. Other regions, such as the MENA region, show high potential for PV installations. Against the background of low module prices in 2017, many of the already announced PV projects are going to be realised in 2017.