GTM: Global solar installations to top 100 GW in 2018 for first time

The global solar PV market will add over 100 gigawatts of capacity for the first time in 2018. According to the latest Global Solar Demand Monitor from GTM Research, installations will reach 104 gigawatts this year, representing 6 percent annual growth. GTM Research analysts anticipate that annual installations will easily exceed the 100-gigawatt milestone through at least 2022.

The year-over-year growth is due in part to geographic diversification, as the top four markets are anticipated to collectively decline by 7 percent.

GTM Research global solar

Installations in China will fall from 53 gigawatts in 2017 to 48 gigawatts in 2018. Though China alone will account for 47 percent of global demand this year.

For the first time in China’s history, annual distributed solar (<20 megawatts) installations are expected to surpass 50 percent of the nation’s annual installed capacity.

“Trade restrictive measures continue to be a barrier to growth in the U.S. and India,” said GTM Research Solar Analyst Rishab Shrestha. “Although the availability of tariff-free modules in the U.S. and the announcement that compensation will be provided to Indian developers negatively impacted by changes to tariffs and duties provides some encouragement.” According to the report, the U.S. market is expected to add 10.6 gigawatts of solar PV in 2018 while India will install 7.1 gigawatts.

GTM Research global solar market

FIGURE: Number of Gigawatt-Scale Solar Markets by Year. Source: GTM Research Global Solar Markets Service

In 2018, Latin America and Middle East and Africa will add 5.6 gigawatts and 4.7 gigawatts respectively, representing explosive year over year growth of 61 percent and 281 percent respectively. Up to 1 gigawatt of projects awarded through Mexico’s A1 auction are expected to come online this year; as is Egypt’s 1.8 gigawatt Benban solar park. This growth will put these two markets at the top of their respective regions based in 2018.

According to the analysis, Egypt, and Brazil will become gigawatt-markets for the first time in 2018; while this year will also see the re-emergence of Spain – which last saw more than 1 GW installed in 2008 – and France, which will firmly establish itself as one of Europe’s top three largest markets.