The European Association of Photovoltaic Industry (EPIA) published a study on “Prospects for global photovoltaic market until 2016”, showing in particular that Italy and Germany remain the key European markets.

Thus, the solar photovoltaic (PV) has continued to grow in a ‘remarkable’ way in 2011, amid a financial and economic crisis, and even though the photovoltaic industry has entered a consolidation phase. As was the case in the past decade, PV markets have grown faster than the forward estimates in both Europe and the rest of the world.

In its latest report, the EPIA evaluated the European and world markets of photovoltaics in 2011, and has made predictions for the next five years. The study is based on an internal analysis of data from industry members, national associations, government agencies and utilities.

The report’s key findings for 2011 are:

– 29.7 GW of photovoltaic systems were connected to the network in 2011, up from 16.8 GW compared to 2010. In terms of installed PV systems, the figures give an estimate of 24.7 GW at least for 2011, against a maximum of 21.8 GW by 2010.

– With about 70 GW of installed capacity in the world, becomes the third photovoltaic renewable energy source most important in terms of installed capacity globally, after hydro and wind power.

– 21.9 GW of photovoltaic systems were connected to the network in Europe, last year, against 13.4 GW in 2010. Europe is still a major part of the global photovoltaic market, with 75% of new capacity in 2011.

– Italy has become the leading PV market in 2011, with 9.3 GW of PV connected, followed by Germany with 7.5 GW. Italy and Germany accounted for two of them nearly 60% of global market growth over the past year.

– Outside Europe, it is China who won the prize by becoming the first PV market in 2011, with 2.2 GW of installed capacity, followed by USA with 1.9 GW.

However, a growth rate at such a pace can not last forever warned the EPIA. “In the short term, the photovoltaic industry is affected by a period of uncertainty,” said Dr. Winfried Hoffmann, EPIA President. “But over the long and medium term growth prospects remain strong and good. The results of 2011 – and even the prospects for the coming years – show that with the right political conditions, the PV can successfully move on to competitiveness in key markets for electricity and become a dominant energy source. ”

The full report can be downloaded HERE

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