SINGAPORE : Large-scale solar power set for double-digit growth.

Utility-scale solar power capacity is expected to grow by double digits globally in 2019-20, driven by expansions in the United States, Europe, Middle East and China, US bank Goldman Sachs said last Tuesday.

Solar power is the fastest growing source of electricity generation taking market share from fossil fuels like thermal coal and natural gas as governments and  companies increasingly  introduce clean energy targets.

''We expect the combination of lower-costs for solar and favorable policy support providing a   multi-year  runway for utility-scale  to drive meaningful upside to the market,'' the US investment bank said in a research note.

Goldman said it expected  utility-scale  solar installations globally to reach to 108 gigawatts [GW]  in 2019, up 12 percent on the previous year, and then grew by another 10 percent  in 2020 to 119 GW.

For 2021 and 2022 the bank expected capacity to reach 129 GW and 135 GW.

Utility -scale solar is defined as an installation that is designed solely to feed electricity into a grid, unlike smaller scale residential solar units.

Including solar installations, most analysts expect  global solar power  capacity to hit  600 GW.

''We anticipate some of the strongest growth to materialize in key regions as the US, Europe, and the  Middle East while we some potential upside emerging in China where demand appears to have stablized in recent months following a collapse through later part of 2018,'' it added.

Solar power has been booming nit just because of government and corporate sustainability targets, but also thanks to a sharp drop in panel prices in recent years.

Solar costs have plummeted from around $70  per watt of electricity generated in 1980, to  $0.36    per watt currently in the United States, according to energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. [Agencies]


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