12.6 GW PV Forecast For Europe In 2018

End Of Trade Barriers For PV Products From Asia & Lower Module Prices Trigger Solar Demand In Europe; SolarPower Europe Revises Upward Its Guidance For the Continent To Add 12.6 GW PV In 2018, With EU Member States Contributing 9.5 GW
08:59 PM (Beijing Time) - 01. November 2018
europe spe forecast

Unlike last year, when Germany was second in line in terms of European countries with the highest PV additions after Turkey, SolarPower Europe now expects the former to take the lead and exit the year 2018 with 3 GW of total 12.6 GW of new installations, while Turkey will install less than last year due to the current financial crisis. (Source: SolarPowerEurope)

Key Takeaways

  • In its Q3/2018 market update, SolarPower Europe is guiding for the European continent to report 12.6 GW of new PV capacity addition in 2018
  • European Union member states alone expected to report 9.5 GW capacity during the year
  • What’s inspiring SolarPower Europe to give these estimates is the end of MIP in the continent and trade duties imposed on solar cells and modules from Asia that have now triggered demand here
  • It now calls for the continent to put in place an industrial competitive strategy for the entire EU solar value chain to ensure competitiveness for the sector

Solar PV demand is picking up in Europe. Solar sector association SolarPower Europe expects the continent to add 12.6 GW of new PV capacity in 2018, reflecting a growth of 37% from 9.2 GW in 2017. The 28 nations comprising the European Union (EU) will alone add 9.5 GW by the end of 2018, an increase of 61% over 5.9 GW installed in 2017.

The new numbers of 2017 are an improvement over its preliminary estimates offered in February 2018 that expected EU members states to have installed 6.03 GW, and the entire continent collectively deployed 8.61 GW (see Europe Installed 8.61 GW PV In 2017). According to its 5-year Global Market Outlook 2018-2022 (GMO) published in June at Intersolar Munich, the actual installation number for 2017 was 9.2 GW, led by Turkey accounting for 28% of the cumulative number with 2.59 GW.

According to its new guidance for 2018, Germany is expected to lead with the highest number of installations of 3 GW, contributing 24% to the total of 12.6 GW, followed by Turkey that it expects to install 1.55 GW or 12% of the total, France with 1.51 GW or 12%, Netherlands adding up 1.32 GW or 10%, and Spain adding 750 MW or 6% to the total.

In the GMO 2018, SolarPower Europe had assumed that Germany would install around 400 MW less or 2.6 GW, also for most other European countries assumptions were lower. The only country for which estimates were reduced considerably is Turkey (now down to 1.55 GW), where the recent currency and debt crisis has brought the solar market nearly to a stand still.

The reasons for higher demand in its Q3/2018 market update SolarPower Europe attributes partly to the end of the minimum import price (MIP) regime for Chinese solar cells and modules in September, which has brought down solar prices. Another reason is the restructuring of China’s solar program, which has resulted in lower demand in the world’s largest market and freed up capacities.

Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe, Michael Schmela said with access to low cost solar products from Asia in Europe, he expects a boost in demand that will ‘reinvigorate’ the continent’s solar sector. At the same time, Schmela emphasised that European policy makers and the local industry need to prepare for that growth. “As we head into a new growth phase, it is important to put in place an industrial competitiveness strategy for the entire EU solar value chain that will ensure a strong and competitive solar sector and see Europe take global leadership on solar,” said Schmela.

Among the objectives of SolarPower Europe’s Industrial Strategy is to have the value contribution of the overall solar value chain in Europe to be increased from today’s 70%, by 2030, and the European solar industry to support 300,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030, from around 100,000 today.

“Solar is one of the most cost competitive clean energy technologies in Europe, thus is of utmost importance to ensure that the upcoming electricity market design is fit for solar, by enabling small-scale solar, active consumers and securing appropriate rules for storage, demand response and aggregation to provide new services,” said Policy Director at SolarPower Europe, Aurélie Beauvais. “With the right market design, solar power as the lowest-cost clean energy technology will undoubtedly fast-track the European energy transition.”

Michael Schmela

Michael Schmela is the managing director of TaiyangNews. He also runs Mischco, a company that offers strategy consulting and communication services to solar companies. Michael also serves as the Executive Advisor to European Solar Sector's Lobby Association Solar Power Europe.

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Michael Schmela