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620 GW new PV installations by 20222018.06.25

SolarPower Europe today launched the 'Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2018-2022.' The report confirms that 2017 was another outstanding year for the solar sector and that growth will continue for the coming five years. The world installed 99.1 GW in 2017 and is anticipated to exceed the 100 GW level in 2018. SolarPower Europe estimates that solar is on course to add another 621.7 GW by 2022.

Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe, said: "2017 was another historic year for the solar sector. More solar PV capacities were installed globally than any other power generation technology. Solar saw more new capacity deployed than traditional energy generation sources combined, and added almost twice as much capacity as wind. Solar is on a winning streak and on its way to become the dominant energy source of the 21st century".

Push through the EU renewables target

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: "More countries are banking on solar, this is great news for our technology. Now is the time to make sure we create the right regulatory frameworks for solar and storage, and all relevant technologies and remove barriers to solar growth. We are delighted that the European Union's three legislative institutions - the Commission, Parliament and Council - recently agreed on a 32% 2030 renewables target and empowered citizens, companies and communities with the right to produce, consume, store and sell power without being subject to punitive taxes or excessive red tape. That's the right direction - and what we've been working towards."

He added "Conversely, the solar import tariffs we see in Europe, the US and other countries are detrimental to the deployment of solar today and simply add unnecessary costs to consumers and society at large. These need to go as soon as possible."

30% increase in Europe

Michael Schmela, Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe, commented "Global solar market demand in 2017 was driven by China. For the first time, China installed more than half of the world's solar capacity in only one year (53.3%). Solar's cost-effectiveness has attracted many countries to look seriously into this unique, flexible and distributed clean power technology. While in 2016, only seven countries installed over 1 GW, in 2017, the number has increased to nine, and is expected to reach 14 in 2018."

Michael Schmela further explained "Europe's performance has improved, adding 9.2 GW in 2017, a 30% increase compared to the 7 GW installed the year before. The European growth is primarily a result of Turkey's gigantic growth. When looking at the 28 members of the European Union, there is little growth: the EU-28 added 5.91 GW in 2017, compared to 5.89 GW in 2016. This result stems from the UK's 'solar exit' in 2016, which halved new installations in 2017. However, 21 of the 28 EU markets added more solar than the year before."

45% - 58% growth expected

Driven by the national binding 2020 renewable targets and the recent solar tenders, SolarPower Europe foresees that the EU will return to strong growth in the coming years - with a 45% growth rate expected for 2018 and 58% in 2019.

SolarPower Europe foresees continued global solar market growth until 2022. The Global Market Outlook Medium Scenario anticipates about 3.5% market growth to 102.6 GW new solar PV capacity additions in 2018, despite the recent subsidy cut announcement from China to restructure its solar incentive programmes, which is expected to result in less new installation capacity than the year before, reaching around 39 GW in 2018.

Almost 900 GW installed total PV by 2021

All Global Market Outlook 2018 scenarios show stronger growth than in the previous report editions. In 2017, SolarPower Europe assumed a cumulative installed capacity of 471 GW for the Medium Scenario in 2018, this year it forecasts 505 GW, which is about 7% higher. SolarPower Europe estimates a total installed solar power capacity of 871 GW as the most likely scenario in 2021 - that's around 13% higher than last year's forecast.

Michael Schmela added "While in our Medium Scenario we expect the world's solar power generation capacity will reach the terawatt era in 2022, according to our High Scenario this level could already be reached a year earlier. However, as more and more policy leaders and investors are beginning to understand the benefits offered by low-cost flexible and distributed clean solar, solar will undoubtedly continue to surprise us positively in the coming years." (HCN)

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