The global solar PV market will add over 100 gigawatts of capacity for the first time in 2018 — and there is no looking back. 

According to the latest Global Solar Demand Monitor from GTM Research, installations will reach 104 gigawatts this year, representing 6 percent annual growth. After 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.


Source: Global Solar Demand Monitor, Q1 2018

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

For the first time in China’s history, annual distributed solar installations (<20 megawatts) 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 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.

In 2018, Latin America will add 5.6 gigawatts and the MENA region (Middle East and Africa) will add 4.7 gigawatts, 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. These two markets will top their respective regions in 2018.

According to the analysis, Egypt and Brazil will become gigawatt-scale markets for the first time in 2018. This year will also see the re-emergence Spain. Meanwhile, France, which will firmly establish itself as one of Europe’s top three largest markets.

Number of Gigawatt-Scale Solar Markets by Year
Source: Global Solar Demand Monitor, Q1 2018

Learn more about the Global Solar Demand Monitor here.

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