WoodMac predicts 3.8 TW of new solar by 2033


From pv magazine Global

Solar developers are expected to install 3.8 TW (AC) of global capacity between 2024 and 2033, according to the latest forecast from Wood Mackenzie.

The analysts predict that new wind and solar installations will reach a combined 5.4 TW, taking the cumulative global total of the two technologies to 8 TW by 2033. Energy storage capacity, excluding pumped hydro, is also expected to grow by more than 600% over the same time period, with almost 1 TW of new capacity set to come online.

Luke Lewandowski, vice president of global renewables research at Wood Mackenzie, said the growth is expected despite inflation, grid constraints, and permitting challenges.

“Global demand for renewables has reached unprecedented levels, driven by country-level policy targets, technology innovation, and concerns over energy security,” he explained. “Energy storage will have the most balanced geographic footprint over the outlook due in part to its important role in helping to make renewable power available.”

If Wood Mackenzie’s predictions are accurate, cumulative installed global solar capacity will nearly quadruple between 2024 and 2033. Growth will be driven by China, which is expected to account for 50% of new capacity.

Juan Monge, principal analyst of distributed PV at Wood Mackenzie, said ultra-low module prices intensified the rate of solar deployments in Europe and China last year and will continue to do so in the near-term.

“Ultimately, maximising solar PV capacity, and wind power capacity for that matter, in the next 10 years will depend on additional technology developments: from expanding grid infrastructure to incentivising flexibility solutions, transportation and heating electrification,” added Monge.

Wood Mackenzie said year-on-year increases in installed solar will continue until 2026, at which point it forecasts a two-year slowdown due to an expected pause in development activity, before the next round of planned procurement drives higher deployment. Earlier this year, it predicted strong yet flat growth in annual solar deployment through to 2032.

Wood Mackenzie said the global energy storage market is on track to reach 159 GW/358 GWh by the end of this year. It predicts that 926 GW/2,789 GWh will be added by the end of 2033 – a 633% increase from the current level. China is expected to remain the global leader, with an average of 42 GW/120 GWh in annual capacity growth forecast over the next 10 years.

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