"This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the US California has always been our nation's biggest solar champion, and its mass adoption of solar has generated huge economic and environmental benefits, including bringing tens of billions of dollars of investment into the state", said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The policy also provides for procurement of power from a hybrid project on tariff based competitive bids.
The Moroccan government is on track with the plan as they put a target of 2GW of solar and wind power each by 2020. Five wind projects totalling 850MW have already been awarded.
Thornton pointed to the role the Renewable Energy Target, and both the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation has played in fostering the strong pipeline of projects - and the technology's stellar cost trajectory.
"Solar and wind power being variable in nature pose certain challenges on grid security and stability and therefore suitable policy interventions are required not only for new wind-solar hybrid plants, but also for encouraging hybridisation of existing plants", the ministry said. For solar, phase 1 of the Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project was commissioned in 2016, while Noor-2 and Noor-3 are expected to add a combined 350MW in 2018.
The 100MW Clare solar farm - the biggest to date in Queensland - has begun exporting to the grid, as some 1400MW of large scale solar projects in the state get ready to begin production this year.
The report also states that Saudi Arabia, with its ambitious renewable energy plan, is proceeding towards a promising renewable energy future. The 300MW Sakaka PV project in the Al-Jawf region achieved a world-record price of $0.02342/kWh and will operate under a long term PPA.
In terms of solar module makers developing projects in-house, only First Solar (49 MW) and Canadian Solar (110 MW) are now active - although Italy's Enel Green Power, responsible for the 220 MW Bungala Solar Project in South Australia also produces heterojunction solar modules. Financing remains the government's biggest obstacle, but the growing commitment of global lenders such as the IFC and EBRD is helping attract much needed funds into the sector. However, several other MENA countries are still struggling to make progress.