Solar PV Market to Crack 100 GW for First Time in 2019

by | Jan 22, 2019


The global solar market will crack 100 GW for the first time this year, potentially hitting 103 GW, according to a new forecast by Wood Mackenzie.

The top 20 largest global PV markets will account for 83% of new global demand to 2023, the fastest growing of which are concentrated in the Middle East and Mediterranean (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and Italy).

According to the report, “10 Trends Shaping Global Solar Markets in 2019,” China will remain crucial to global installations, but its market share will fall from 55% in 2017 to 19% by 2023. As emerging markets in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa scale-up rapidly and begin to deliver results post-2020, installations will settle at 115-120 GW through 2023. We expect quarterly installations to break 30 GW for the first time in Q4 of 2019.

Other Predictions

Falling costs: The report predicts that solar PV costs could fall as low as $14/MWh. This prediction is based on the continuing trend of falling PV prices and the “recent cratering” of average bids in Egypt, Jordan and the UAE under US $30/MWh.

Corporate solar: The report notes that an increasing portion of U.S. utility PV demand is being driven by corporate, non-utility entities looking for savings or to reach voluntary renewable energy targets. More than half (56%) of these corporate buyers are from the technology and data sectors. One-quarter of all projects announced in 2018 were corporate procurement driven. This is expected to increase in 2019 due to “eagerness from corporate buyers to sign PPAs before expected interest rates rise and the 30% investment tax credit (ITC) expires,” the report states.

Spotlight on solar-plus-storage: Following three large solar-plus-storage procurements in 2018 from Xcel Energy ($30-32/MWh), NV Energy ($31-37/MWh), and PG&E (567.5-MW across four projects), the solar-plus-storage space started 2019 off with momentum. Wood Mackenzie’s report predicts that won’t slow. In fact, it states that seven projects have been proposed in Hawaii that would add 262 MW of solar and over 1 GWh of storage at prices as low as $78/MWh. The report currently estimates that 1.4 GWh of energy storage installed across the whole U.S. and forecasts 8.8 GWh of front-of-the-meter solar-plus-storage capacity installed in the U.S. by 2023, growing at an 82% CAGR starting in 2018 and led by California, Arizona, Colorado, and Hawaii.


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