Report: Emerging solar markets hold 20GW of PV project potential

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A slew of emerging markets for PV have been identified in a weighty new report from market research firm IHS, which has identified 20GW of PV projects across Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle-East, Africa and “emerging Europe”.

However, the IHS Solar Emerging Markets Study identified that around 14GW of the current project pipeline could be classified at the “pipeline stage”, yet remained a milestone and indicative of the significant near-term potential for growth in the PV industry.

The expected growth in emerging markets is believed to be significant enough to bring market stability to the industry, despite waning incentives and government support in the previously key PV markets of Europe.

Growth potential

According to IHS, as much as 12GW of PV installations could be added to the global cumulative total from emerging markets in 2017, up from just 1.6GW in 2012.

Around 40 countries were classified in the emerging markets report which could result in up to 30GW of cumulative PV installations over the next four years.

However, the researchers were clear to highlight that the very nature of emerging markets is their unpredictability, therefore IHS provided two forecast scenarios that could see 2.1-3.5GW of new PV installations being added in 2013, climbing to 2.9-12.2GW annually in 2017.

Key markets

The report identified that South Africa, Thailand, Chile, Romania and Brazil were key emerging markets watch develop, while a “tier 2” market included Argentina, Ecuador, Turkey and Mexico.

On a regional basis both Africa and the Middle East are expected to compete with Latin America in the overall installed gigawatt stakes through 2017.

However, in Europe Turkey could yet prove to be a strong emerging market, due in part to its surging power demand, the report noted.

The market research firm also highlighted the PV pipeline size by country, revealing that Chile currently heads the pack with 3GW of projects identified.

Countries such as Romania, South Africa, Serbia and Israel have all seen major project announcements this year, highlighting over 300 developers and EPCs that are active in the sector.

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