PV Talk: Emerging markets in 2015 with IHS

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Last year saw a number of emerging solar markets begin to fulfil their potential, setting up some promising prospects for 2015. Josefin Berg, senior solar analyst at market research firm, IHS, discusses the emerging-market highlights of 2014 and what to expect in 2015.

Josefin Berg, senior solar analyst with IHS: Chile, Jordan, the Philippines and Honduras will be among the pick of the emerging solar markets in 2015. Image: IHS.

Which were some of the emerging-market star performers in 2014?
There were some very positive developments last year. We saw South Africa really moving ahead quickly, ahead of time; projects that were scheduled to come online in 2015 were commissioned already in 2014. Now however that’s going to impact their growth in 2015, so we might see a slight drop [in completions] in 2015.

Jasper PV project completed in South Africa last year. South Africa was one of 2014's star performers, but

Another market we saw take off is Chile. It’s another of these countries that people have been looking at and talking about for several years, and wondering when it’s going to take off. And after SunEdison installed its first project in 2013, we’ve seen more and more projects taking off there. Chile will definitely be for 2015 a very strong market. We think it could install up to 800MW, so by the end of 2015 it could have 1GW. But this is the beginning of the year – projects could go faster or slow.

If we’re looking at the new markets, we saw some very positive indications from Jordan, which finally closed financing for some of the projects that have been in the pipeline for a while. We think Jordan could install up to 200MW this year.

And Egypt in December awarded feed-in tariff contracts to 2GW of projects. There will be a lot of hurdles for these projects to be deployed, but it definitely raises our outlook for Egypt and we’re looking into that now to see how we should assess it – whether it could go like what we’ve seen in South Africa, or if there will be a lot of hurdles. They’ve awarded the projects, but they still have to go through the whole processing of PPAs, and it could be like Jordan where it’s been a very cumbersome process to get projects ready to build.

Then of course Brazil and its solar auction has been very positive news for emerging markets. Brazil has been one of these markets that we feel has to take off at some point. The policy hasn’t been there; we’ve seen the pipeline build up, but in Brazil wind has been the strong renewable technology. So coming out with a solar-specific auction, that’s very positive for Brazil.

Where else do you expect to see breakthroughs in 2015?
Our 2015 predictions paper last week highlighted the Philippines. We’ve forecasted over 200MW for the Philippines this year, but in a high-case scenario it could go up to 500MW this year. We’re still assessing how much is going to be installed until the feed-in tariff (FiT) cut expected in March, and then exactly what the FiT is going to be after that. But there are projects being built outside the FiT in the Philippines, so that’s definitely a market to look at.

And also in Honduras we saw projects signing PPAs last year with the regulator. They had a plan to install 300MW in Honduras, but they’ve oversubscribed in terms of the PPAs they’ve signed. And we’ve seen already projects starting construction; SunEdison has just received finance for a project, Scatec Solar is also starting a big project there.

What are the main factors propelling these markets forward?
The first and most important thing in most markets is policy. Policy has developed; policy-makers are allowing private project development to go ahead. And they’re encouraging solar technology – that’s what’s making the difference in these markets, encouraging and supporting. There’s a lot of talk about non-subsidised solar and that solar can stand on its own two feet now. But whatever the power technology you’re talking about, it needs to be anchored in policy and regulation, and ideally have some kind of support.

What about the laggards? A number of places get talked up but haven’t delivered yet – Saudi, Turkey and Mexico to name a few. What’s holding them back?
On Saudi, it’s coming back to what regulators and policy makers actually put into place; they announced a very ambitious target, but then the evolution from that announcement has been very slow. We’re just going to have to see what impact current oil prices have on their economy and on their renewables ambitions. And Saudi isn’t really in a hurry to deploy renewables; it’s not like in Jordan or the Philippines – in Jordan and Philippines they have a real concrete need for power, which has pushed policy makers to support PV as a technology that can be quite quickly deployed.

As for the other markets where we see uncertainty, Brazil has made huge leap forward by holding solar auctions. Now the second step is for these projects to move forward is to organise financing and then have a realistic plan for installation. There are still a lot of question marks in Brazil regarding local content and the whole financing situation.

In Turkey it’s also about policy. They awarded the first part of licences last year, and they’re set to award the remaining capacity this year – auctions are coming up at the end of January. What we’ve seen from the first round of projects last year is that it’s been a slow process from awarding the projects to getting contracts and details implemented; the bureaucracy and is holding things back.

Mexico is one of the markets that’s more complicated. Financing is a big problem because a lot of the projects there are depending on spot prices and they’re competing with wind projects that are being sold at similar sites. Solar is still struggling to find its place in the Mexican market.

Does sub-Saharan Africa, outside of South Africa, offer much potential this year?
There are a lot of announcements in Africa of very big projects ranging from 100MW up to 1GW of projects, and then a couple of memoranda of understanding, but nothing much beyond that. There have been projects that have been cancelled – Zimbabwe had a big pipeline, but the projects were cancelled or postponed indefinitely. That’s very likely to happen in other markets. There will be some countries where projects are installed, but it will be on an individual basis and not at a programme level or as a general trend. Any power project you want to pursue in the region is going to be quite a challenge.

Are we likely to see any surprises this year in terms of new markets opening up?
We'll have to see what’s happening in the rest of Latin America. Until now it’s been quite concentrated in a few countries. Overall in the rest of Latin America, there are a lot of other power generation sources in the region [for solar compete against]. But it would be interesting to see which of those countries open up – maybe just even a small programme or tender.

Also Southeast Asia is one of those regions people expected a lot from, but aside from Thailand it hasn’t delivered that much over the past years. Now we’re seeing the Philippines taking off and we’ll have to see what the other countries in the region are willing or able to move on and accelerate the success of their solar programmes.

2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.

Read Next

December 1, 2021
Major US bank Wells Fargo has closed its maiden tax equity investment into a colocated solar-storage project currently under construction in New Mexico, US.
PV Tech Premium
December 1, 2021
The price of shipping containers from Asia to Europe and North America remains high but should start to come down in the new year, although the main price drops won’t occur in earnest until 2023 when new capacity is brought online. That additional capacity, however, may be offset by new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules to address the industry’s emissions
December 1, 2021
Enefit Green, the renewables subsidiary of Estonian state-owned utility Eesti Energia, is looking to procure up to 500MW of solar modules in the next three years.
December 1, 2021
Tech major Amazon has added a further 2GW to its committed utility-scale solar PV capacity, adding projects in the US and Europe to its renewables portfolio.
December 1, 2021
Global solar PV deployment is on track to grow by 17% this year in spite of surging commodity prices increasing manufacturing costs, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
December 1, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved the extension of Poland’s auction scheme for renewable resources that is predicted to support the creation of 9GW of renewables after it passed EU state aid rules

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal