Latin American solar demand to hit 7.4GW annually by 2020: GTM

Solar installations in Latin America will grow at an “exceptionally high” annual rate of 28% between 2016-2020, compared to 9% annual growth for the overall global market during that period, according to GTM Research.

Latin America’s growth, led by Brazil and Mexico, will see the region adding an estimated 7.4GW of PV in 2020, up from less than 1.4GW added last year, when Chile was the largest market, GTM says.

Between now and 2020, both Brazil and Mexico are expected to add 7GW of PV capacity, with Chile expected to chip in another 2GW of demand.

Meanwhile, Central America will install 2GW of demand during the latter half of the decade, while the rest of South America – including rising solar stars like Peru and Argentina – will put up 5GW, GTM predicts. 

The global PV market too will continue notching strong growth over the next half decade, GTM says, albeit at a substantially slower growth rate than the more than 30% increase it chalked up last year, when installations hit a record 55GW.

The world is expected to install 66GW of PV capacity in 2016, rising to 95GW in 2020, according to GTM.

For comparison, the world installed 63.5GW of new wind capacity in 2015, and the Global Wind Energy Council predicts the annual global wind market will expand to 79.5GW in 2020.

Despite new solar markets opening up around the world, growth in the global PV market will be restrained over the next few years due to expected pullbacks in several key markets – including China, Japan and the UK.

China accounted for 34% of the global PV market in 2015; by 2020 GTM sees its share falling to 22%.

The anticipated falloff in the Japanese market is far more severe. Japan accounted for 21% of global demand in 2015 – making it the world’s second largest market – but that figure is expected to crash to 3% in 2020.

The relative decline of such markets will be offset by surging demand in places like India and Latin America.