The International Energy Agency IEA said in a new report that solar remains the main source of renewable energy capacity expansion in 2023, accounting for 286 GW. In 2024, the figure is expected to increase to nearly 310 GW, driven by lower module prices, the proliferation of distributed solar PV systems, and policy pressure for large-scale deployment.
According to it, global renewable energy capacity additions are expected to increase by 107 GW to more than 440 GW in 2023, the largest absolute increase ever. Solar remains the main source of renewable energy capacity expansion in 2023, accounting for 65% of the increase, or 286 GW, with distributed generation applications accounting for almost half of the expansion.
“Lower module prices, wider adoption of distributed solar PV systems and policy pressure for large-scale deployment will trigger larger annual increases in all major markets, including China, the European Union, the United States and India,” the IEA said.
However, the agency said that capacity additions will decrease in Brazil from 2023 to 2024 due to Law 14.300, which will come into force in early 2022, which will change the rewards of the distributed generation market. It revised its forecast for renewable capacity additions for 2023 and 2024 upward by 38% from its December 2021 forecast.
“In the European Union, residential and commercial solar systems account for 74% of our forecast growth, with most (82%) of the increase coming from six key markets: Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Sweden,” it added.
The two main trends driving the revised forecast, according to the IEA, are increased business attractiveness for own consumption from January 2021 and market conditions triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The agency also said it raised its forecast for electricity scale growth, but to a much lesser extent due to permit challenges, canceled auctions and long development schedules. Auctions are expected to remain Europe’s leading procurement method, and their share of renewable energy capacity growth will be at least 65 percent between 2022 and 2024.
“Nearly half of the increase will come from auctions of bilateral fixed-income contracts led by Poland, the UK, France, Italy and Spain,” the IEA said.
Power purchase agreements (PPAs) and trading facilities are expected to account for 22% of European capacity expansion until 2024. Corporate PPAs make up the majority of unused projects, led by Spain, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. According to the IEA, some unsubsidized projects are also likely to emerge in Great Britain, Italy and Poland.
“While installations that are developed entirely on a merchant model are likely to be in the minority, PPA projects are expected to stack revenues by connecting the merchant tail,” it added.