The 5 largest solar power plants are in the emerging markets
Emerging markets (EEM) (VWO) house the 5 largest solar power plants in the world. India (EPI) and China (FXI) (YINN) in particular have risen to become the leaders in solar power generation globally. The top 5 power plants (by generation capacity) are housed in these two Asian (AAXJ) (VPL) economies. The chart below depicts the top 5 photovoltaic power stations of the world. The 6th, Solar Star, is based in the US and has a solar power generation capacity of 579 -megawatt (MW).
Iran is poised to overtake Solar Star
Iran is now poised to move into the 6th largest slot with its 600 MW plant, scheduled to be built in stages over the next 3 years. Iran’s Energy Ministry recently signed a $600 million financing and development agreement with UK-based specialist renewable energy investor, Quercus, for creating the project together. Lower oil prices and air pollution have been shifting the economy’s focus from natural gas and oil-based power generation to renewables. The project falls in line with the economy’s commitment to develop 5 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2020. The country’s current installed solar energy capacity stands at 53 MW.
Emerging markets are increasingly investing in renewables
In our recent series, Solar Power in the Lead, as Future Energy Takes Center Stage in the Emerging Markets, we highlighted how emerging markets are currently leading the charts in renewable energy (ICLN) (PBW) (QCLN) attractiveness, with solar energy (TAN) holding enormous potential. Investment flows to the industry are picking up backed by attention and funding from international agencies such as the USTDA, World Bank, and BRICS Bank.
Declining costs of solar panels and wind turbines are making renewable power a more attractive option in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
While China and India have already established themselves as the dominant players in the renewable energy market, sub-Saharan Africa (EZA) is also showing immense potential in the renewable energy space, particularly in solar.