Solar grows by 30% in 2017 with demand set to rise over next 5 years

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SolarPower Europe has launched the ‘Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2018-2022.’ The report confirms that 2017 was another outstanding year for the solar sector and that growth will continue for the coming five years. The world installed 99.1 GW in 2017 and is anticipated to exceed the 100 GW level in 2018. SolarPower Europe estimates that solar is on course to add another 621.7 GW by 2022.

2017 was another historic year for the solar sector. More solar PV capacities were installed globally than any other power generation technology. Solar saw more new capacity deployed than traditional energy generation sources combined, and added almost twice as much capacity as wind.

Global solar market demand in 2017 was driven by China. For the first time, China installed more than half of the world’s solar capacity in only one year (53.3%). Solar’s cost-effectiveness has attracted many countries to look seriously into this unique, flexible and distributed clean power technology. While in 2016, only seven countries installed over 1 GW, in 2017, the number has increased to nine, and is expected to reach 14 in 2018.

Europe’s performance has improved, adding 9.2 GW in 2017, a 30% increase compared to the 7 GW installed the year before. The European growth is primarily a result of Turkey’s gigantic growth. When looking at the 28 members of the European Union, there is little growth: the EU-28 added 5.91 GW in 2017, compared to 5.89 GW in 2016. This result stems from the UK’s ‘solar exit’ in 2016, which halved new installations in 2017. However, 21 of the 28 EU markets added more solar than the year before.

Driven by the national binding 2020 renewable targets and the recent solar tenders, SolarPower Europe foresees that the EU will return to strong growth in the coming years – with a 45% growth rate expected for 2018 and 58% in 2019.

SolarPower Europe foresees continued global solar market growth until 2022. The Global Market Outlook Medium Scenario anticipates about 3.5% market growth to 102.6 GW new solar PV capacity additions in 2018, despite the recent subsidy cut announcement from China to restructure its solar incentive programmes, which is expected to result in less new installation capacity than the year before, reaching around 39 GW in 2018.

All Global Market Outlook 2018 scenarios show stronger growth than in the previous report editions. In 2017, SolarPower Europe assumed a cumulative installed capacity of 471 GW for the Medium Scenario in 2018, this year it forecasts 505 GW, which is about 7% higher. SolarPower Europe estimates a total installed solar power capacity of 871 GW as the most likely scenario in 2021 – that’s around 13% higher than last year’s forecast.

Source: SolarPower Europe