SolarPower Europe revises down global outlook for 2018… but only a bit

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If recent news on PV development in China has shaken the global solar industry, threatening overcapacity in the PV superpower and causing share price retreats, the European PV sector, represented by trade body SolarPower Europe, remains confident of another record year.

In a statement to pv magazine, the association’s CEO James Watson said its outlook for global PV growth in 2018 had been revised down, but only slightly.

“Despite the news from China, we are not panicking and dropping the expected level of grid connected solar in 2018 by much – our current estimates suggest we are on track for about 102 GW grid connected in the world,” said Mr Watson.

Last year, the organization predicted around 107 GW of solar would be grid connected in 2018 as part of the ‘medium’ scenario in its Global Market Outlook, produced in June 2017. “So between our forecast from last year and our expectation today, we see only a small decrease, this would also be more solar than last year, where we saw 99 GW grid connected,” added the European solar spokesman.

Watson anticipates, provided the price of solar does not fall too much, several projects in India, the Middle East, south east Asia, Latin America and Africa will be realizable and demand will pick up and compensate for the slowdown in China.

“Obviously, we don’t see any major increase in our forecasts for Europe and the U.S. as both markets are hampered by trade measures, so the price drop cannot be passed on to companies and consumers,” added Mr Watson. “But the rest of the world can, and will benefit.”