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Market Insight

European solar PV demand forecast to continue double-digit growth to reach 11 GW in 2018

March 16, 2018

Susanne von Aichberger Susanne von Aichberger Senior Analyst, Solar Supply Chain

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In 2017, European solar PV installations grew by 23% year-on-year to surpass 9 GW. This is the highest level of PV installations in Europe since 2013, and marks the start of a recovery of the European PV market. According to IHS Markit projections, the European PV market is set to grow to 11 GW in 2018.

This recovery of PV demand in Europe is closely linked to the regulatory environment in a handful of markets, combined with the decline of module prices over the past years. The five largest markets in 2017 — Turkey, Germany, France, the Netherlands and United Kingdom — installed two thirds of the new installed PV capacity in the region. In 2018, more markets are set for growth, including Spain, which will return to the spotlight and become the fifth largest market.

IHS Markit forecasts that a third of the new PV installations in Europe in 2018 will come from utility-scale PV projects, with revenues mainly from tenders or, in the case of Turkey, a feed-in tariff. A handful of PV plants outside the regulatory support mechanisms, with revenues from private power purchase agreements, will also be built, as this market segment emerges. The remaining two-thirds of new PV installations will be residential and commercial PV systems according to IHS Markit. This segment will not only be driven by regulatory mechanisms like feed-in tariffs, tenders, and net-metering, but also by pure self-consumption systems.

The detailed forecast and market situation for PV installations in Europe and the rest of world will be presented in the IHS Markit PV Installations Tracker Q1 2018, which will be published on 23 March 2018.

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