Global solar market will breach 100 GW in 2019, Wood Mackenzie

After a muted 2018 decline brought on by China’s policy brake, the global solar market will finally breach 100 GW in 2019, topping at 103 GW, expects consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The global market continues to diversify. The top 20 largest global PV markets will account for 83 percent 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).
China will remain crucial to global installations, but its market share will fall from 55 percent in 2017 to 19 percent by 2023, says Wood Mac. 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 to 120 GW through 2023. »We expect quarterly installations to break 30 GW for the first time in Q4 of 2019.«
Technology costs have continued to fall rapidly in 2018, with global average utility-scale solar costs falling another 15 percent. The company believes that PV costs »still have room to fall« as low as $14/MWh under optimized assumptions, and the recent cratering of average bids in Egypt, Jordan, the UAE under $30/MWh suggest 2019 is likely to see more pricing at a similar level.
Looking forward, there are several upcoming tenders in the first half 2019 that could play host to more ultra-low prices. The twice-delayed auction in Mexico, to be held in January 2019, could deliver another record, as could the 2.25 GW of solar PV set to be auctioned in 2019 under Saudi Arabia’s revised renewable energy program.
»Oil and gas majors embrace solar in upstream and power,« says the consultancy, and are increasingly making strategic moves to adapt to the changing energy landscape: »From large private utilities to battery manufacturers to EV charging infrastructure companies to rural solar home system companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, the most forward-thinking oil and gas majors are moving into the electricity space.« There are also opportunities for renewables to complement oil and gas (and metals) extraction. Solar PV has been applied as a mainstream solution to offset diesel consumption for energy intensive mining operations in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, and Chile for several years. PV, CSP, and wind projects »will increasingly be co-sited at on and offshore oil and gas fields to power drilling and even hydraulic fracturing,« says the report.
»Global Solar PV Markets – Top 10 Trends to Watch in 2019«, executive summary available free of charge as PDF at »www.woodmac.com« (search for »10 trends«)
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