June 20 (Renewables Now) - Annual solar power installations are expected to cross the 100-GW threshold this year, with some 621.7 GW of solar capacity set to be added by 2022, estimates trade body SolarPower Europe.
In 2018, the number of countries with annual solar power deployments of over 1 GW is projected to reach 14 from nine in 2017 and only seven in 2016, SolarPower Europe said in its Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2018-2022 on Wednesday. In its medium scenario for the sector, it guides for 3.5% market growth to 102.6 GW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity additions in 2018, with a decline in China following recent subsidy cuts for the sector. New installations there are seen at around 39 GW in 2018.
The world’s cumulative installed capacity in this scenario is forecast to reach 505 GW, up 7% from SolarPower Europe’s earlier guidance. Meanwhile, the most likely scenario for 2021 is for cumulative solar capacity of 871 GW and “a terawatt era” in 2022.
“Solar is on a winning streak and on its way to become the dominant energy source of the 21st century," said SolarPower Europe’s President Christian Westermeier. The organisation’s CEO James Watson noted that countries need to make sure the “right regulatory frameworks” for solar and storage are in place so as to remove barriers for the growth of solar, adding that the imposition of solar import tariffs in some countries is destructive for the industry and will bring “unnecessary costs to consumers and society at large."
In 2017, the world added 99.1 GW and saw newly-installed PV capacity grow faster than any other power generation technology. Market demand was driven by China, which accounted for 53.3% of the new installations.
European installations last year totalled 9.2 GW, marking a 30% year-on-year rise, mainly thanks to Turkey. Additions from countries within the European Union (EU) came at 5.91 GW, against 5.89 GW in 2016, while the expected growth rate in those countries stands at 45% for 2018 and 58% for 2019. The upward movement will continue through 2020 due to the 2020 binding renewable energy targets for countries in the block.