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GTM Forecasting More Than 85 Gigawatts Of Solar PV To Be Installed In 2017

The concentration of global solar demand has contracted to the point where the world’s top four markets — China, the US, India, and Japan — are expected to account for 73% of a global total of 85 gigawatts in 2017.

The concentration of global solar demand has contracted to the point where the world’s top four markets — China, the US, India, and Japan — are expected to account for 73% of a global total of 85 gigawatts of new installed capacity in 2017.

These are the findings from GTM Research’s new Global Solar Demand Monitor: Q1 2017 report, published this week. Specifically, the significant concentration of global solar demand is due to a new wave of solar installations in China, a doubling of the solar PV market in India, and falling power purchase agreement (PPA) prices. In the end, GTM is predicting that the global solar market will grow 9% in 2017, reaching 85.4 gigawatts (GW), after 2016 saw a total of just over 78 GW.

In 2016, solar demand in China reached 34 GW of installed new capacity, exceeding consensus expectations for the country. This has led to significant changes to global forecasts, with analysts increasing their expectations for new capacity additions in China over the next six years, which in turn have affected the global expectation — instead of a 7% contraction in 2017, GTM is now predicting a 9.4% growth.

India is expected to overtake Japan as the third-largest global market in 2017, with GTM predicting a doubling of its capacity additions to end in nearly 10 GW of new installed capacity in 2017, compared to a predicted 8 GW in Japan.

Global PV Demand, 2007-2022E

As can be seen, however, GTM is forecasting the US market to contract by more than 10% in 2017.

Interestingly, slowdowns such as those expected in Japan, Germany, and the UK, are expected to be leveled out somewhat by increased demand share in countries such as Mexico, France, Australia, and a number of Middle East countries.

The report also highlighted potential growth opportunities in Southeast Asia countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. Specifically, GTM predicts more than 4.6 GW of new solar to be installed in Thailand between 2017 and 2022 “due to generous and increasing clean energy tariffs.”

Southeast Asia PV Demand, 2016-2022E

GTM also expects Malaysia “to far exceed its 1 GW by 2020 national target” as a result of several factors — including manufacturing cost reductions and the introduction of a net energy metering policy for 500 MW of rooftop projects. In addition, the country currently has tenders for 1,250 megawatts (MW) worth of 1 MW to 50 MW of projects recently awarded and upcoming — including a comparatively mammoth 460 MW tender set during the first quarter of 2017.

There is also a promising 10 GW opportunity for “patient, risk-tolerant developers” in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016, at least 10 utility-scale projects were commissioned in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Namibia. Looking forward, GTM predicts nearly 1 GW of on-grid installations in sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, and a potential for adding more than 10 GW between 2017 and 2022.

Sub-Saharan Africa PV Demand, 2015-2022E

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