MEA region PV demand to reach 1 GW in 2013

In another indication of the increasing regional diversity of the photovoltaic market, NPD Solarbuzz has predicted that demand from MEA countries will grow at a stellar rate in 2013. The region is predicted to grow to a 1 GW market, with South Africa, Israel and Saudi Arabia leading the way.

The NPD publication, the Middle East and Africa PV Market Report, sets out photovoltaic market growth to 2017 in the region, with estimates that the market could grow to 3.7 GW up to 9 GW over that period.

“Historically, the MEA region lagged behind global PV markets but is starting to catch up,” said Susanne von Aichberger, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. The report notes that while the MEA region accounts for 17% of the global population, it delivered on 0.5% of photovoltaic demand in 2012. By contrast, in 2017 NPD Solarbuzz predicts demand from the region will account for 6% of global photovoltaic production.

South Africa remains one of the leaders in photovoltaic growth in the MEA, the report notes, with the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP) delivering a 1 GW project pipeline to be installed by the end of 2014. 1.45 GW will be added in total under the scheme.

Israel follows as the next significant market, driven by quotas, tenders and a new net metering scheme. Together the two countries account for 80% of photovoltaic demand in the MEA region.

Saudi Arabia is the third market in the region highlighted by NPD Solarbuzz, with the analysts citing the country’s renewable purchase program as a driver behind the country growing to be the region’s largest by 2017. Saudi Arabia has set a target of 16 GW of photovoltaic capacity by 2032.

Despite the current dominance of the South Africa, Israel and Saudi Arabia at present, NPD Solarbuzz predicts their market share in the MEA region will drop below 50% in the future. Ground mounted applications as forecast to account for 70% of demand in the region by 2017.