According to Wood Mackenzie’s maiden global solar photovoltaic (PV) asset ownership ranking (excluding China), the world’s top 10 solar PV asset owners now hold over 22 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative solar capacity. Mutually, the top 10 added around 2.5 GW of new capacity in 2018.
Leading the pack is NextEra Energy with 4.37 GW of cumulative solar capacity. Next in line is NYSE-listed American Utility Southern Company holding about 2.57 GW of solar capacity. Both companies sit in the Americas region which accounts for over 71 percent of the global top 10 capacity.
On behalf of the Asia Pacific excluding China (APEC) region and ranking third is Indian utility ACME Group recording 2.30 GW of solar capacity on its books. The other APEC company making the top 10 is also India-based. Multinational conglomerate Adani holds 1.94 GW of cumulative solar capacity.
In the fourth position, Italian renewable company Enel Green Power is the only solar asset owner from the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region in the top 10, at 2.21 GW of cumulative solar capacity, 83 percent of which reside in the Americas.
“The global solar market remains highly fragmented, with the top 10 accounting for only 6.9 percent of global solar capacity. Fragmentation will continue as barriers to entry remain low and annual solar installations continue to grow,” said Wood Mackenzie solar analyst Rishab Shrestha.
Independent power producers (IPPs) dominate the top 10, making up 68 percent of the list’s solar capacity. IPPs affiliated with utilities formed the largest share globally, particularly in the Americas, as the group benefited from Renewable Portfolio Standards and Investment Tax Credits. In APEC, IPPs unaffiliated with utilities make up 73 percent of the region’s solar capacity. Institutional investors feature strongly in the EMEA region as capacity owned by the group represents over half of the region’s solar capacity.
The US, Australia, and Germany made up the top three countries with the largest solar capacity transacted in 2018. Module OEM, particularly Canadian Solar, was among the most active in the booming Australia solar market
Shrestha added that “2019 has already seen announcements of mega-scale additions of pipeline from investors such as Macquarie. With large-scale auctions being adopted more widely, fragmentation in the large-scale solar segment could be reduced further out in the future.”
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