IHS: South Africa most attractive emerging solar market

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South Africa has been rated the most attractive emerging PV market in a quarterly report for global information company, IHS.

South Africa scored 66 out of 100 when analysed for macroeconomic climate, market size potential, profitability and pipeline maturity, alongside other emerging markets.

South Africa topped the chart thanks to the country’s solar goal for 8.4GW by 2030 and the favourable tender process of its national renewable energy programme, which has attracted signficant solar investment.

“South Africa has consolidated its position as a growth market for PV by cultivating a policy environment stable enough to attract financing from commercial banks,” said Josefin Berg, senior PV analyst at IHS.

Ranked second by the IHS is Thailand with a score of 49; however IHS predicts a slide in the tables soon for Thailand due to changes to its investor attracting feed-in-tariff – which pays premiums to solar power producers – that will now be replaced with just a rooftop FiT. 

Turkey is ranked third with a score of 45, although IHS predicts Turkey’s placement is at risk from its low solar pipeline. Turkey currently has a very low base of installed solar projects with just 3MW connected, and 150MW proposed at the start of 2013.

Currently project proposals greater than 1MW are awaiting 600MW of tenders.

For projects 1MW and under however, an increased feed-in tariff and streamlined application processes have cleared the path for Turkey to make serious progress towards its 3GW solar target for 2023.

The accompanying increase in energy demand and rapid rise of electricity, as well as Turkey’s estimated potential for 1GW of solar prices has provided Turkey with its high rank, the IHS report has said. “Permitting and grid connection contracts remain the main bottleneck in 2014,” Berg said.

Romania was fourth in the ranks scoring 43, and Mexico fifth with 42.

The IHS findings are for near and mid-term attractiveness, changing every quarter in accordance with policies and development.

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