Wood Mackenzie Expects Global Solar Photovoltaic Installations to Reach 115GW in 2020

PVTIME – According to Wood Mackenzie’s latest quarterly outlook, despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, global PV installations are expected to increase by 5% year-on-year to about 115GW this year.

“The most severe of lockdowns have ended in almost all countries, with construction on PV sites able to continue as planned, albeit with many projects facing delays caused by disruption earlier in 2020. Year-over-year growth in installations will continue each year to 2025, topping out at 145 GWdc. The one exception will be 2024 when the US market will slow following the final stepdown in the ITC schedule,” said Ravi Manghani, Wood Mackenzie Head of Solar.

In Asia, Wood Mackenzie is expecting 39GW of installations from the recovering Chinese market, with 27GW of which being installed in the second half of this year. The pipelines for both subsidy-free and auctioned projects have ballooned in 2020, and the Chinese market will grow by 30% year-on-year despite short-term supply chain disruption delaying module procurement for some developers. India, due to strict social distancing measures, is forecasted to see its PV installations drop to the lowest level since 2016. According to Wood Mackenzie, Indian PV installations will sit at just 4.9GW in 2020, down 42% from 2019.

In Europe, Wood Mackenzie estimates that in order to reach the EU’s preference for a 55% decarbonization target by 2030, renewable power’s share of EU power supply will need to rise to 65% by 2030, up from 38% in 2020. Aside from Germany, which is expected to reach 4.5GW in 2020, no other figures were provided for other European regions by the report.

In the US, although there has been a 23% drop in residential installations QoQ and a 19% QoQ decrease in non-residential installations, utility-scale timelines have not been noticeably affected by the pandemic. According to the quarterly SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables U.S. Solar Market Insight, the US is expected to have over 18GW in solar installations for 2020.

In Latin America, permitting and low power prices remain the main challenges for developers. However, Wood Mackenzie expects that the market will continue to grow despite economic and lockdown related setbacks. Increasing project pipelines in Brazil and Chile will drive growth in the region while political and regulatory uncertainty threaten the Mexican market’s potential.

In the MEA region, Wood Mackenzie has tracked over 1 GW of commercial and industrial projects in the pipeline. According to the report, “In the Middle East, the regional storyline remains focused on fierce tariff competition and top-down utility-scale procurements. In Africa, emerging markets are beginning to shorten project development cycles and reduce pipeline attrition.”