Germany and Spain to be the solar flag bearers


Germany will continue to lead Europe’s PV charge in the years ahead, with an anticipated 20.7 GW of new solar capacity by 2024.

But a booming private PPA market in Spain will see it hot on Germany’s heels with 19.7 GW of new solar, according to the Europe Solar PV Market Outlook 2019 report published today by analysts Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables. France, according to the report, will add 17 GW of solar in the next five years, the Netherlands 12.9 GW and Italy 11.7 GW.

WoodMac expects the volume of new solar generation capacity added in Europe to double within three years to around 20 GW per year, with the region to hit 250 GW of capacity by 2024.

With reverse auction tenders replacing feed-in tariffs as the preferred method of procuring new capacity, energy prices are expected to tumble with midday prices to fall thanks to the popularity of PV. WoodMac analyst Tom Heggarty warned price cannibalization would occur as an expected 170 GW or more gas, coal and nuclear capacity are displaced by renewables by 2040.

Bills will fall

“In developed European power markets we already see that power prices can fall below €30/MWh and rapidly towards zero as renewable energy penetration rises about 50%,” said the analyst.

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In a press release issued today to publicize the report, WoodMac said 24 GW of new PV capacity was procured last year with another 47 GW expected across more than a dozen European markets.

Behind leading lights Germany and Spain, WoodMac predicts seven countries will add at least 5 GW of new solar by 2024 and a further 18 nations more than 1 GW.

Distributed generation for self-consumption will play a crucial role in European solar, predicted the analyst, accounting for almost 40% of the continent’s new capacity over the next five years although Spain will be an exception with most of its new project capacity to arrive in utility scale chunks.

This article was amended on 26/06/19 to add the expected figures for solar capacity installation up to 2024 for France, the Netherlands and Italy.

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