The global solar PV market counted an additional increase in installed capacity of about 6.4 GW in 2009, reaching a total capacity of over 20 GW world-wide, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). In 2010, the EPIA expects global cumulative installed PV capacity to grow by at least 40%, while the annual growth is expected to increase by more than 15%. During 2009, Germany remained the largest market, with Italy ranking second and Japan and the U.S. markets to follow. EPIA says that Germany will most likely remain the largest market in 2010, while new markets in particular from Southern Europe, Asia and the U.S. will grow significantly.

Some other highlights from EPIA’s research:

Europe maintains market leadership
With a cumulative installed capacity of almost 9 GW, including around 3 GW installed in 2009, Germany remains the world’s largest PV market although the recently announced Feed-in Tariff cuts are expected to significantly affect the development of the national industry in the longer run. In the mid-term, Italy appears as one of the most promising markets with an additional capacity of some 700 MW already in 2009. Besides high sun irradiation, the new Conto Energia, which should be announced in Spring, would continue to support the strong momentum of the Italian market. Czech Republic shows an important growth in 2009 with 411 MW installed but, due to overly generous support schemes, the market is expected to shrink importantly in 2011 after another year of strong growth in 2010. “This underlines the imperative need for support mechanisms to be designed in a way to ensure a long term, predictable and sustainable development of the market and avoid instability and discontinuity in market evolution” explains Adel El Gammal, Secretary General of EPIA. In Spain, the set-up of a market cap in 2008, combined with the effects of the financial crisis, constrained the market to only about 60 MW installed in 2009. However, PV accounted for about 3% of the electricity production in the country in 2009 and clearly appears as a privileged source of electricity in the fight against Climate Change. Finally, Greece, Portugal and the U.K. are showing interesting potential for growth in 2010 and beyond.

Japan and USA as leading markets outside Europe
Outside Europe, Japan positioned itself as the third largest market with 484 MW installed in 2009. The U.S. market finally took off significantly with around 475 MW installed in 2009 and appears as a potential leading market for the coming years. China and India are also expected to boom in the next five years with an impressive amount of PV projects in the pipeline.

A bright future for PV
The global PV market could reach between 8.2 and 12.7 GW of new installations assuming a moderate scenario and a policy driven scenario, respectively, and would represent a growth of 40% and 60% of the overall cumulative installed capacity compared to 2009 for the two scenarios. In a policy-driven scenario, the global annual PV market could reach up to 30 GW in 2014 based of course on favourable conditions established by policy makers, regulators and the energy sector at large. The announced world-wide PV production capacity would also be sufficient to cover the expected evolution of the market in the coming five years.

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