Photovoltaics (PV) in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) to grow 15 percent in 2024 with the addition of 17.1 gigawatts (GW)

MEA’s solar photovoltaic installations will grow by 15% in 2024, totaling 17.1 GW. South Africa leads solar growth in MEA; UAE and Saudi Arabia to enter solar GW club in 2023, new SolarPower report says
Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region are expected to grow 15 percent in 2024 with the addition of 17.1 gigawatts (GW), according to a new report from the industry association solar photovoltaic SolarPower Europe, based in Belgium.

The report ‘SolarPower Europe (2024): Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2024-2028’ notes that the MEA region experienced a significant annual growth of 78 percent in 2023, adding 14.8 GW of solar energy and surpassing the previous record set in 2022, when 8.3GW of capacity will be installed.

“The increase in installations in 2023 resulted in a stable market share for MEA of 3 percent (and) the situation is expected to be similar this year,” the report said.

The world deployed 447 GW of new solar PV capacity in 2023, 87 percent more than in 2022, when 239 GW were installed. The global cumulative installed capacity reached 1,624 GW by the end of 2023, 38 percent more than the 1,177 GW the previous year, when the solar park recorded a growth of 26 percent.

Although MEA saw a substantial growth of 45 percent with a cumulative installed PV capacity of 48.1 GW, this did not affect its overall solar positioning as the world’s smallest solar region nor its overall market share of 3 percent.

However, the MEA region accounted for three of the 31 GW-scale solar markets in 2023, defined as countries that installed at least 1 GW.

South Africa maintained its top position after installing 3.2 GW, a 142 percent growth rate driven by private utility-scale solar projects taking off after 2022 following regulatory reforms, and growing demand for residential power systems. solar PV and battery storage driven by energy security concerns.

The UAE entered GW territory for the first time since 2019 after installing 3.1 GW, mainly thanks to the completion of the 2 GW Al Dhafra solar power project in Abu Dhabi.

The third GW market in MEA was Saudi Arabia, which crossed that threshold for the first time, after 1.9 GW was connected to the grid, largely from the initial phase of the 1.5 GW Sudair Solar Project.

In 2024, only South Africa and Saudi Arabia are expected to retain their positions in the GW-scale global market. In MEA, South Africa is forecast to remain the top contributor for the second year in a row, adding more than a fifth of all installed capacity in MEA to reach 3.5 GW, while Saudi Arabia is forecast to add 1.5 GW, marking a 20 percent decline, after growing 400 percent in 2023 to 1.9 GW.

The report notes that the UAE is not expected to feature in the GW-scale market in 2024 as it is expected to account for only 5 percent (0.8 GW) of MEA’s installed capacity compared to the 21 percent (3.1 GW) in 2023 due to no large photovoltaic projects. Power plant projects are expected to connect to the grid this year.

“Despite this, many smaller markets in the region, all with very favorable irradiation conditions, are increasingly recognizing the cost advantages, commercial opportunities and energy security potential of solar energy, leading to a increasing solar activities across the area,” the report says. saying.