SolarPower Europe: 800 GW New PV By 2023

SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook 2019-2023 Pegs 2019 Installations To Grow 25% YoY To 128 GW; By 2023 Nearly 800 GW Additions Will Increase World’s Operating Solar Power Fleet To 1.3 TW in 2023
02:24 PM (Beijing Time) - 15. May 2019
spe gmo 2019-2023 global installations

In its most likely medium scenario, SolarPower Europe's Global Market Outlook 2019-2023 anticipates the world's solar power generation plant capacities will be close to 1.3 TW in 2023 with 2019 contributing 128 GW. (Source: SolarPower Europe 2019)

Key Takeaways

  • SolarPower Europe’s GMO for 2019-2023 says 2018 installations grew to 102.4 GW leading to cumulative growth to 500 GW
  • At least 11 nations added more than 1 GW solar, a number that it expects to reach 16 nations in 2019
  • China is likely to add 43 GW new solar in 2019, followed by India that it expects to become the second largest solar market in the current year
  • Europe deployed 11.3 GW new solar in 2018, growing 21% YoY and in 2019, it is expected to install 20.4 GW and 24.1 GW in 2020
  • Overall, in 2019 there should be 25% market growth with around 128 GW of new PV capacity according to the SPE leading to a cumulative installed capacity of 645 GW
  • In its most likely medium scenario, the GMO estimates that the solar TW level will be exceeded in 2022; and by 2023, global solar power generation capacities will add nearly 800 GW to reach a total solar power generation capacity of 1.3 TW in 2023.

The year 2018 was the one when the world reached the ‘magic installation mark of 100 GW per year for the first time’ with 102.4 GW in 2018, according to European solar lobby association SolarPower Europe (SPE) thanks to which the global operating solar power fleet grew to over 500 GW or 0.5 TW.

In its flagship publication, Global Market Outlook (GMO) for Solar Power 2019-2023 launched at Intersolar Europe, SPE says the market grew by 4% over 98.5 GW in 2017, which itself is less than 30% YoY growth achieved in 2017 and 50% in 2016. The contraction was due mainly because of contraction of the Chinese market that installed 16% less solar in the reporting year with 44.4 GW (see China Installed 44 GW Solar PV In 2018: NEA). Yet, several new and emerging markets and re-emerging markets more than compensated for this slower growth period.

In 2018, 11 nations installed over 1 GW solar compared to 9 such nations in 2017. It sees 16 countries growing their installations to 1 GW mark in 2019.

SPE GMO 2019 GW markets

Summing up the trends in the solar market witnessed in 2018, SPE President Christian Westermeier said, “Last year, we again saw strong cost improvements with solar becoming the lowest-cost power generation source in more and more regions. At the same time, new applications have quickly progressed, such as floating solar, while corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements have reached a double-digit GW-level, and a market for merchant solar has emerged in several countries.”

As the Chinese government accelerates its solar policy restructuring efforts, SPE estimates 43 GW of new solar power capacity for the country in 2019. Other than China, India and the United States are expected to add more than 10 GW each with 12.9 GW and 11.8 GW, respectively. Right behind China, India is likely to become the second largest solar market in the current year.

Driven by the European Union’s binding national 2020 targets, the European continent installed 11.3 GW new solar in 2018, claiming 21% growth over 9.3 GW installed in 2017. As per medium scenario estimates in the GMO, Europe should be able to install 20.4 GW growing by over 80% YoY and further 18% to 24.1 GW in 2020.

On a cumulative basis, the authors of the report expect a 25% market growth in 2019 with around 128 GW of new PV capacity under its medium scenario which will lead to a cumulative installed capacity of 645 GW, about 4% more than assumed in the last year’s GMO.

5-year outlook: Adding 800 GW until 2023

Looking forward, the reports’s medium scenario estimates demand to rise by 12% to 144 GW in 2020, 10% to 158 GW in 2021, 7% to 169 GW in 2022 and 6% to 180 GW in 2023. In all probability, the solar TW level is likely to be exceeded in 2022 and by 2023, global solar power generation capacities will add nearly 800 GW to reach a total solar power generation capacity of 1.3 TW in 2023.

“Solar is making significant strides and this is very good news for the energy transition. However, we need to quickly accelerate the deployment of solar power to meet the Paris agreement targets,” said Executive Advisor of SPE, Michael Schmela. “Solar is ready in terms of both technology and affordability for a much greater uptake of our clean energy source to help mitigate the climate crisis.”

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) an average of over 400 GW of renewables have to be installed per year until 2050 to keep temperature rise below 2°C. In 2018, around 180 GW of renewable power capacity was installed.

The  report is available for free download on the website of SPE.

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