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foresees 90 GW of new solar installations for the full year 2018. While this will be a slight year-on-year decrease for PV, the report notes that overall renewable capacity will see 13.3% annual growth – with 154.6 GW in total to be installed over the year, led by solar PV. The report expects global investment in renewable energy for the year to hit US$228.3 billion, a slight increase of 0.7% over 2017.

While policy support is being reduced or withdrawn in many markets, as renewables are increasingly able to compete commercially, F&S still sees political will as the key driver. “Worldwide, we see that as the number of countries cutting subsidies increases, the market is compelled to consider purely commercial alternatives to feed-in tariffs, such as competitive auctions and private-sector power purchase agreements,” says Maria Benintende, Energy & Environment Senior Industry Analyst at F&S. “The pace of growth will depend on the level of government backing in terms of setting up support mechanisms to enable 100 percent renewable energy generation.”

, and points to challenges from low gas prices in the U.S., and continuing dominance of the fossil fuel industry in much of the Middle East region.