Solar power will be big in 2014

he equivalent of a 5-megawatt solar farm every hour of every day – that’s how much new solar photovoltaic power is being installed around the world right now, according to a leading industry analyst, and it’s a surge that will help the industry to a mammoth total for 2014.

NPD Solarbuzz said it sees demand reaching 49 gigawatts in 2014, a huge leap from 36 GW in 2013 (a number likely to be arrived at after a record-breaking 12-GW fourth quarter).

The equivalent of one new 5 MW solar farm is being installed every hour of the day – and here’s a brand new 5 MW power plant in Connecticut. (image via Dominion)

While plenty of solar went in over 2011 and 2012, the rate of growth of new installations had practically stalled, with around 30.4 GW of PV systems installed in 2011 and 31.3 GW installed in 2012, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association [PDF].

But after a difficult period of right-sizing in the manufacturing sector and declining subsidies and flattening growth in Europe, capacity is now more in balance with demand, which appears particularly strong in China, Japan and the United States, NPD Solarbuzz said.

* Pete Danko, EarthTechling