European solar demand will see 35% year-on-year growth in 2018, according to U.S. market research company, GTM Research.
Its latest Global Solar Demand Monitor says that the “much-needed” strong growth forecast for 2018 will be partly due to increasing demand from Spain and the Netherlands, both of which are currently supporting the development of large-scale solar projects that are planned to come online over the next two years.
While these two markets are not expected to reach gigawatt installations this year, 2018 will see new installs topping 1.4 GW and 1 GW, respectively, says GTM. Only two markets – Germany and France – will become gigawatt-scale markets in 2017, it adds, while the U.K. is not set to be part of the club in either 2017 and 2018.
“The European market is entering a phase of sustainable growth, no longer driven by the Feed-in-Tariff boom and bust cycle,” said GTM analyst Tom Heggarty, who cites merchant projects commissioned in Italy, the development of subsidy-free plants in the U.K,. and German PV auction prices moving closer to wholesale power prices, as potential new market drivers.
The report further reveals that Latin American solar demand could double in 2018, with Brazil and Mexico driving this growth and both entering the gigawatt-scale ranking. In particular Mexico, which has the second-largest demand for electricity in the region, and is home to favorable renewable energy targets, will be able to push the Latin America’s solar demand through 2022, “with 60 percent coming from utility projects and 40 percent distributed.”
GTM’s Global Solar Demand Monitor says Egypt will also become a gigawatt-scale market in 2018, along with Korea and Australia. “After a challenging few years following the initial award and subsequent cut of Feed-in-Tariffs, over 1500 megawatts of utility-scale projects in Egypt have now reached financial close, driven almost entirely by a large international development bank financing consortium led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation, which to date has committed nearly $2 billion USD in loans,” said GTM analyst Ben Attia. “We expect the majority these projects to be realized in late 2018 and early 2019.”
Overall, GTM predicts that a newly installed PV capacity of 606 GW will be reached, globally, between 2017 and 2022.