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PV in Europe represented 16.5GW of global 29GW demand in 2012

  •   PV demand in Europe reached 16.5GW in 2012, representing 57% of the 29 GW global PV demand in 2012. Source: NPD Solarbuzz Marketbuzz, March
    PV demand in Europe reached 16.5GW in 2012, representing 57% of the 29 GW global PV demand in 2012. Source: NPD Solarbuzz Marketbuzz, March 2013.


Tim Murphy
Tim Murphy
Tim Murphy has over 20 years of experience delivering PV engineering solutions as distributed power generation in the industrial and built environments. As a Solarbuzz analyst, he specializes in the downstream PV market and nine European countries. Murphy uncovers commercial and technical trends by quantifying financial and energy performance parameters for each market, and further applies his extensive industry knowledge of project delivery to build useful commercial market distribution models. He also provides regional forecasts according to regulatory and technical knowledge.

For 2012, Europe retained its dominant position in global PV demand reaching 16.5GW, according to findings in the new NPD Solarbuzz Marketbuzz report.

Strong demand from Europe was due primarily to premium incentives that remained in place during 2012, along with lower installed system prices (ISPs). It was also a year in which European incentives declined in value, as administrators closely followed the downward trajectory in PV system prices.

During 2013, the European market will continue to transition away from a premium-incentives PV environment towards PV electricity being driven on the grounds of competitive cost. During this transition period, major European markets will see declining PV demand.

But this transition phase will not be completed during 2013 in major European markets. Premium incentives will continue to decline (or disappear) in 2013, but additional retroactive impositions are expected (for example, in Greece).

In fact, various retroactive impositions on PV operators have emerged in Europe during 2012 and earlier. For example, in Spain, PV operators are realising 35% less revenues (compared to 2008 administrative ‘guarantees’) due to the sum of retroactive impositions. Greek operators might expect a similar outcome.

While distributed PV electricity generation can make a compelling economic case in Europe, relative to higher retail electricity rates, emerging grid-access barriers will constrain growth. Utility companies will continue to provide barriers to PV, and are likely to undertake more lobbying related to grid-access fee schemes and smart-meter implementation.


  • Photovoltaics International 29th Edition

    Forecasting the evolution of a young, dynamic industry is by definition an uncertain business, and solar is no exception. Rarely, if ever, do the numbers broadcast by any of the various bodies involved in the PV prediction game tally, and even historical deployment rates remain the subject of hot debate. The paradox is that getting forecasts broadly right is going to become increasingly important over the next few years, particularly for those involved in producing the equipment that will support whatever levels of demand come to pass.



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