This revived growth comes mainly from markets outside of China, which are forecast to rise by 43% in 2019. Spain, Vietnam and other countries have 2019 deadlines for project completions, as falling module prices at the end of 2018 have led to increased demand.
China outlook highly uncertain
Given the current indications of development activity, China, the world’s largest PV market, could grow by 2% in 2019, after reaching 45 GW in 2018. The majority of these installations would come in the second half of the year, according to the latest PV Installations Tracker by IHS Markit.
“Right now, the outlook for China remains highly uncertain, as the new support scheme for PV is yet to be announced,” said Josefin Berg, research and analysis manager at IHS Markit.
“Plans to focus policy more on unsubsidized PV systems could slow near-term deployment, unless strict construction deadlines are imposed to spur 2019 demand,” Berg added.
US will overtake India
The United States is forecast to overtake India in 2019, to once again become the second-largest PV market. As the 30% investment tax credit (ITC) ends this year, some projects will rush to meet completion.
However, the safe harbor provisions introduced in 2018, which require a 5% investment to be made by the end of 2019 to enjoy the full ITC rate, have also shifted projected installations from 2019 to later years.
“Increasing project development activity shows that the years after 2019 will be booming,” Berg said.
In India, the push toward lower tender prices, at a time when components have become more costly through safeguard duties, has delayed several tenders and could shake up the future Indian solar PV market.
Europe to add over 7 GW
Europe is the region with the largest upswing over the past year, after the minimum import price on modules ended. Installations grew by 23% in 2018, reaching 12 GW and is forecast to surpass 19 GW in 2019. The revived utility-scale market in Spain alone makes installations almost 60% of growth in the region.