Ten Asian solar markets have 1GW+ pipelines as continent dominates project development: Fitch

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A floating solar project in Singapore developed by Sunseap. Image: Sunseap.

Asia boasts a growing number of markets with solar development pipelines in excess of 1GW, a new report by Fitch has found, with the region dominating the consultancy’s project database analysis this year.

While solar development in Asia is of course dominated by China, Fitch noted that ten markets in the continent hold solar project development pipelines in excess of 1GW.

In total, Fitch expects Asia’s total solar development pipeline to stand at 137.5GW, equivalent to 42% of the world’s total. However the consultancy also notes that its figure for China is underrepresented due to a lack of visibility, so Asia’s total pipeline – and therefore market share – is expected to be far greater.

Asia is trailed by Latin America and Fitch’s North America and Western Europe (NAWE) region, with the US possessing the single largest national solar pipeline outside of Asia at 40.9GW. Fitch said it expected further upside as the Biden administration looks to push through its legislative agenda, which includes a prospective ten-year extension of the investment tax credit for solar projects.

Brazil and Chile, at 34.5GW and 17.3GW respectively, are the solar development powerhouses within Latin America.

Fitch said it continued to hold a positive outlook for Brazil’s solar market with strong growth in both distributed solar and utility-scale systems despite the country scoring poorly within the consultancy’s project risk metric (PRM), which scores a project’s likelihood of passing through the development phase without disruption.

Brazil has been given a score of ~6, below the industry average of 7.0, alongside other below-average performers of India, the Philippines and Mexico. The Mexican government’s tempestuous relationship with solar PV is the subject of a feature-length article in our most recent volume of PV Tech Power, which can be accessed here.

Markets to have scored above average in Fitch’s PRM include the US, China, the UAE and Australia, despite a recent exodus of solar investors from the latter.

While Fitch’s solar project database does include both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies, PV continues to be the overwhelmingly favoured solar power technology, accounting for 94% of total project capacity.

PV Tech publisher Solar Media is once again hosting the Solar & Storage Finance Asia conference next month. The online event will bring together the solar and storage finance and development communities for three days of content and virtual networking. More details regarding the event, including how to attend, can be found here.

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