The global PV build-out will see a record-setting installation of 114.5GW in 2019, up 17.5% on a year ago, as the sector shrugs off the slow-down in its biggest market, China, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
The analyst latest sector calculations show the market has returned to a “strong growth trajectory” after a disappointing 2018, with annual build-rates expected to climb to around 125GW a year in the early 2020s.
“The Chinese market peaked at 53GW in 2017, driven by generous feed-in tariffs,” stated Wood Mackenzie senior research analyst Tom Heggarty. “A move towards more competitive procurement of PV will lead to more sustainable annual [worldwide] additions of 30-40GW."
China’s recently announced first PV auction led to 22.8GW of projects being awarded contracts
Among first-tier PV markets, India is “starting to recover” after a slow-down caused by land and transmission constraints, while in the US announcements of new state utility integrated resource plans , including in states such as Florida, are “good news” for the PV market, he said.
European is expected to “grow strongly as policy markets look to deliver on 2020 and 2030 renewable energy targets”, noted Heggarty. After China, Spain’s was the world's next largest tender, with 3.9GW of PV awarded
Wood Mackenzie pointed to countries installing between 1-5GW annually as the market’s “growth engine”, noting that from seven markets building out at this rate in 2018, the segment would see growth to 19 by 2022, including new names such as Saudi Arabia, France and Taiwan.
“In the Middle East, all eyes are on the upcoming 1.5GW auction in Saudi Arabia, which is set to be extremely competitive,” added Heggarty.
Brazil, with both auctioned power purchase agreements with distributors and free market contracts with large consumers currentl on offer, is seen as “the most exciting [Latin American] market of the moment”.
It also brought in the lower tender price, with Enerlife/Lightsource BP being awarded a contract in June’s A-4 auction for the 2020MW Milagres project of $16.95/MWh - $2/MWh lower than the $18.93/MWh awarded in 2017 to Neon’s Pachamama PV project in Mexico.
“Auctions will remain the driver of growth in many global PV markets. We expect to see 90GW of PV projects awarded contracts through auctions in 2019, up from 81GW in 2018,” said Heggarty.