Middle East and Africa Solar PV Demand to Grow by 50 Percent in 2014, According to NPD Solarbuzz

Saudi Arabia to become leading PV country in 2016, driving the MEA market to 4.4 GW by 2018 

Santa Clara, Calif., April 24, 2014— Solar photovoltaic (PV) demand from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is set to grow 50 percent year-over-year in 2014. Between 2014 and 2018, annual PV demand will nearly triple as the MEA region becomes a key market for the global industry, according to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Emerging PV Markets Report: Middle East and Africa. By 2018, annual PV demand in the MEA region is expected to reach 4.4 GW, with an upside potential of 
10 GW. 

PV demand from the MEA region in 2013 grew by 670 percent, compared to 2012 when the region added approximately 140 MW. Previously, the region had a substantial share of small off-grid PV systems; however, in 2013 the on-grid segment became the main factor driving growth to more than 1 GW, with 1.6 GW forecast for 2014. In 2018, ground-mount systems will account for over 70 percent of the market. 

Until now, PV growth in the MEA region has been predominantly driven by a small number of economically prosperous countries, in particular South Africa and Israel. Along with Saudi Arabia, these three countries are expected to offer stable demand levels within the MEA region over the next few years. 

“Solar PV represents an ideal renewable energy type across much of the Middle East and Africa,” noted Susanne von Aichberger, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “Even so, market drivers and constraints differ greatly between the two regions.” 

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