Australia is experiencing a much talked about boom in large scale solar installations, with a four-fold increase in completed projects in the last 12 months to 2.7GW.
But if you think that is quick, take a look at Vietnam, which at the end of June overtook Australia in commissioned utility-scale solar farms as a rush of construction was finished to qualify for a government feed in tariff.
According to energy industry analysts Rystad Energy, the Vietnamese market has gone from less than 10MW operational as of June 2018 to more than 4.0GW, which translates into a 400-fold increase. Most of this was commissioned in the last month to meet the FiT deadline.
'Few would have predicted Vietnamese utility PV to exceed Australia's by mid-year. The commissioned capacity in Vietnam has exceeded our high case,' says David Dixon, senior analyst on Rystad Energy's renewables team.
Rystad predicts Australia will commission another 800MW of large scale solar capacity before the end of the year, but even at 3.5GW it will remain behind Vietnam's total.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy
, and is also the founder of One Step Off The Grid
and founder/editor of The Driven
. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.