Australia’s investment boom in large-scale solar projects made it the fourth biggest market for the technology in 2018, behind only China, the US and India.
The statistic is revealed in data on utility-scale solar generating capacity released today by Wiki-Solar.org, which found that the global market for utility-based solar was 40GW in 2018, taking the aggregate total to 180GW by the year’s end.
Wiki-Solar says the 2018 deployment matched the record set in 2017, which was a surprise given that the sector was expected to show a decline with installations tailing off in the three biggest markets – US, China and India.
Growth did indeed slow in three of the top four countries (including the UK), with only the US showing a small gain. But the shortfall was made up by accelerating deployment in nations lower down the table, led by Australia, Mexico and Brazil.
Australia has now climbed into the top 10 countries in installed utility-scale solar, with 2.13GW, according to the Wiki-Solar data, which may differ from others because of the stage of project completion. Many projects have connected to the grid but are not operating at full capacity because of a lengthy and sometimes delayed commissioning process.
Australia should further jump up the list in the next two years, with another 5GW of large-scale solar capacity expected to be completed. That could see it overtake Germany and the UK and become the fourth biggest market for large-scale solar in the world.