Large-scale solar power set for double-digit growth

Solar power has been booming not just because of government and corporate sustainability targets, but also thanks to a sharp drop in panel prices in recent years. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 March 2019
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Large-scale solar power set for double-digit growth

  • Solar power is the fastest growing source of electricity generation, taking market share from fossil fuels
  • Goldman said it expected utility-scale solar installations globally to reach to 108 gigawatts (GW) in 2019

SINGAPORE: Utility-scale solar power capacity is expected to grow by double digits globally in 2019 and 2020, driven by expansions in the United States, Europe, Middle East and China, US bank Goldman Sachs said on Thursday.
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 grow 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 residential installations, most analysts expect global solar power capacity to soon hit 600 GW.
“We anticipate some of the strongest growth to materialize in key regions such as the US, Europe, and the Middle East while we see some potential upside emerging in China where demand appears to have stabilized in recent months following a collapse through the latter part of 2018,” it added.
Solar power has been booming not just because of government and corporate sustainability targets, but also thanks to a sharp drop in panel prices in recent years.
Solar panel 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.
Thanks to the solar boom, Goldman said it was “selectively constructive” on solar companies, with First Solar, Canadian Solar, Vivint Solar, Longi Green Energy Technology and Tongwei expected to perform well.


US-Saudi business council reports $13bn in contracts

Updated 24 May 2019
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US-Saudi business council reports $13bn in contracts

  • Improved oil prices, combined with a government focus on spending, contributed to the rise, the council said

LONDON: The value of joint Saudi-US contracts rose to $13 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to a business council report.

That marked the highest value of awarded contracts since the first quarter of 2015, the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council said.

The value of contracts awarded during the first quarter amounted to about half of the total value in all of last year, it added.

The contracts “included many vital projects, notably in the oil, gas, water and transport sectors,” Abdallah Jum’ah, the co-chair of the council, was reported as saying by Asharq Al-Awsat.

Energy was the top sector, with $3.1 billion of the value of contracts awarded, with many struck by Saudi Aramco. 

Improved oil prices, combined with a government focus on spending, contributed to the rise, the council said.

The construction sector also looks set for a recovery after many projects were put on hold due to the oil-price crash.

“If the pace of awarding construction contracts witnessed during the first quarter of 2019 continues for the rest of the year, the index of awarding construction contracts may return to the range we witnessed before the canceling and postponing of mega projects due to lower oil revenue,” the council said.