While China will grow marginally by 2%, Europe will add over 7 GW of capacity, with utility-scale installations in Spain alone contributing 60% of the growth in the region. The U.S. will overtake India to once again become the second-largest PV market.
The global solar PV market is set to bounce back from single-digit growth in 2018 to 25% in 2019, reaching 129 GW of solar installations, according to IHS Markit.
This revived growth comes mainly from markets outside of China, including a group of countries that are forecast to rise by 43% in 2019. Spain, Vietnam and other nations have 2019 deadlines for projects, as falling module prices at the end of 2018 have led to increased demand.
China outlook highly uncertain
China, the world’s largest PV market, could grow by 2% in 2019, after reaching 45 GW in 2018. The majority of these installations will come in the second half of the year, according to the latest PV Installations Tracker by IHS Markit.
“Right now, the outlook for China remains highly uncertain, as the new support scheme for PV is yet to be announced,” said Josefin Berg, analyst at IHS Markit. “Plans to focus policy more on unsubsidized PV systems could slow near-term deployment, unless strict construction deadlines are imposed to spur 2019 demand.”
US will overtake India
The United States is forecast to overtake India in 2019, to once again become the second-largest PV market. As the 30% investment tax credit (ITC) ends this year, some projects will rush to meet completion.
However, the safe harbor provisions introduced in 2018, which require a 5% investment to be made by the end of 2019 to enjoy the full ITC rate, have also shifted projected installations from 2019 to later years.
“Increasing project development activity shows that the years after 2019 will be booming,” Berg said.
In India, the push toward lower tender prices, at a time when components have become more costly through safeguard duties, has delayed several tenders and could shake up the future Indian solar PV market.
Europe to add over 7 GW
Europe is the region with the largest upswing over the past year, following the end of the minimum import price on modules. Installations grew by 23% in 2018, reaching 12 GW and are forecast to surpass 19 GW in 2019.
Source: pv magazine