August 20 (Renewables Now) - The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is expected to see a 170% year-on-year surge in solar deployments this year with the addition of 3.6 GW of fresh photovoltaic (PV) capacity, according to GTM Research.
Demand for solar PV is seen to escalate further and lead to 20 GW of annual installations in 2020, while for the whole period between 2018 and 2023, the region will put on stream 83.7 GW of new solar parks. Big projects coming online and the heating African market will be major growth drivers, according to Ben Attia, author of the latest regional market outlook.
The MEA region currently has a 12.3-GW pipeline of utility-scale contracted or under-construction projects and an additional 21 GW of pre-contract projects. Most of those schemes, apart from the UAE and Jordan, come from the utility-scale segment.
Attia forecasts that in 2018, demand is expected to be mainly driven by Egypt, the UAE and Morocco, while nascent African markets are anticipated to mature in 2020 and add more than 6.4 GW of PV. Overall, the growth pace is seen to slow down after 2020 and lead to a “more measured growth” to 2023 following multiple rounds of regional tender programmes and regulatory adaptation.
In terms of pricing, Attia projects that the levelised costs for both utility-scale and distributed generation solar power will drop by 30% by 2022 in the major MEA markets, with prices falling below USD 30 (EUR 26.2) per MWh in tender rounds in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Kuwait.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.874)