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GTM Research Identifies Next Gigawatt-Scale Solar Markets

With the end of the year coming to a frightening close, GTM Research has identified eight countries which will close out 2017 with at least 1 GW worth of annual solar PV installations, a figure which will grow to 13 countries by the end of 2018. 

With the end of the year coming to a frightening close, GTM Research has identified eight countries which will close out 2017 with at least 1 GW worth of annual solar PV installations, a figure which will grow to 13 countries by the end of 2018.

GTM Research published its latest Global Solar Demand Monitor report this week, in which it identified eight countries which will have installed at least 1 GW (gigawatt) worth of solar PV in 2017: China, the United States, India, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, and South Korea. Further, GTM predicts that these eight will be joined by five new countries by the end of 2018: Mexico, the Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, and Egypt.

Greentech Media highlighted several aspects of the new Monitor report this week, including expectations that European solar demand in 2018 will increase 35% — a breath of fresh air in a region which was only seen installations drop more than triple since its peak back in 2011.

Specifically, and unsurprisingly, Spain will lead the way in 2018 with an expected 3.9 GW worth of solar PV contracted through the country’s recent technology-neutral auction — capacity which is expected to be delivered sometime in 2018 or 2019. Of course, any GW-scale movement in Spain is impressive, considering it will likely finish the year with just 40 MW (megawatts) of solar capacity.

The other European country to make a move in 2018 will be the Netherlands, which is expected surpass the 1 GW barrier thanks to strong long-term support and growth.

“The European market is entering a phase of sustainable growth, no longer driven by the feed-in-tariff boom and bust cycle,” said Tom Heggarty, a senior solar analyst at GTM Research.

Meanwhile, the report also highlights the growth of the solar market in Latin America, led by newcomers to the 2018 1 GW milestone club, Mexico and Brazil.

“Brazil is about to become a 1-gigawatt market on the heels of developing several large utility-scale projects tendered in 2014,” said Manan Parikh, GTM Research senior analyst. “The cancellation auction didn’t achieve the desired results, leaving almost 80% of cancelled capacity (800 megawatts) in play to still be developed or flipped with a penalty.”

Finally, GTM Research expects Egypt’s solar market to grow fivefold between 2017 and 2018, and reach a total of 1.4 GW by the end of next year.

“After a challenging few years following the initial award and subsequent cut of feed-in-tariffs, over 1,500 megawatts of utility-scale projects in Egypt have now reached financial close, driven almost entirely by a large international development bank financing consortium led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation, which to date has committed nearly $2 billion USD in loans,” added GTM Research’s Solar Analyst Ben Attia. “We expect the majority these projects to be realized in late 2018 and early 2019.”

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