Global solar installations will reach 100 GW for the first time this year, according to a new report from consultants Wood Mackenzie.
In spite of a turbulent 12 months, the market for solar photovoltaics (PV) is set to grow and diversify in 2019, according to the Global Solar PV Markets – Top 10 Trends to Watch in 2019 report.
Other trends to watch include continued falling prices, increased investments in solar from oil and gas majors, and growth in corporate renewable energy procurement in some key markets.
According to Wood Mackenzie, installations in 2019 will reach 103 GW, with China remaining a key market. Installations will settle at 115-120 GW through 2023, and Wood Mackenzie forecasts quarterly installations to break 30 GW for the first time in Q4 of 2019.
China’s market share of global installations currently stands at around 55 per cent, but is expected to decline to 19 per cent by 2023, as emerging markets in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa scale up rapidly.
Technology costs have continued to fall rapidly, with global average utility-scale solar costs falling another 15 per cent last year, Wood Mackenzie said. “We believe that ultra-low PV costs still have room to fall as low as $14/MWh under optimised 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,” the company states.
In the report, Wood Mackenzie also notes that oil and gas majors are well-positioned to succeed in the PV sector because of their strong balance sheets, scale, global presence and brand. There are also opportunities for renewables to complement oil and gas extraction, it notes.