Global solar capacity to increase by 142 GW in 2020

Solar modules. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

January 8 (Renewables Now) - The global photovoltaic (PV) market is expected to grow by 142 GW this year, a 14% increase from 2019, a new study by IHS Markit (NYSE:INFO) showed on Tuesday.

In comparison, the entire PV capacity installed around the world by the beginning of the last decade was just 20 GW. In addition, while in 2010 there were just 7 countries with installed capacity in excess of 1 GW, 43 countries are expected to reach that milestone by the end of 2020, according to IHS Markit.

China, the biggest solar market in the world, is expected to keep its leading position, but new markets are expected to emerge in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East this decade, commented IHS Markit's director for clean technology and renewables, Edurne Zoco. Overall, the collective market share of the top 10 solar markets is expected to drop to 73% from 94% in 2010.

"2020 marks the decade of emerging unsubsidized solar, diversification and expansion of solar installation demand across the globe, new corporate entry players and increasing competitiveness versus conventional energy sources," according to Zoco.

Solar installations in China are expected to continue expanding by double digits this year but demand will remain below the historic high of 50 GW reached in 2017. The market is in a transitional phase in view of the shift towards unsubsidised solar and competition from other forms of generation. In addition, the new five-year plan to be announced in 2021 causes some uncertainty, according to the study.

In the US, the solar market is expected to expand by 20% this year, consolidating its position as the second biggest market in the world. Demand growth over the coming five years is expected to be driven by California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and New York.

PV installations in Europe are expected to grow by over 24 GW this year, 5% higher than in 2019. Leaders in terms of demand in 2020 will be Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Ukraine, accounting for 63% of total EU capacity this year, the study shows.

The solar market in India is expected to return to growth in 2020, exceeding 14 GW. Lower module prices and a big pipeline of projects are expected to drive growth after policy uncertainties and duties on solar cells and modules affected the market in 2019, resulting in a flat year.

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Before joining Renewables Now, Alex was a UK-focused business news reporter. Now she is covering global news from the renewable energy industry with a special interest in M&A.

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