New PV installations were down 36% in 2014, the 10th annual Market Workshop of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) heard Thursday.

In total, 40GW of solar was installed globally in 2014 EPIA said— marking an increase of 8% from 37GW in 2013. EPIA's figure is at odds with other estimates of around 45GW and does not provide breakdowns for major markets such as China and Japan.

The one figure it does break out, however, is that of Europe, where EPIA said installations declined from 11GW installed in 2013 to just 7GW the following year.

The one European country to show improvement from 2013 to 2014 was the UK, which increased its installed capacity from 1.5GW to 2.3GW.

James Watson, CEO of EPIA, said: "It's great to see a thriving solar market in the UK, as it proves solar energy's versatility to be a success in a country famous for its 'mild' climate. … At a time, solar power has lower cost than retail and often even commercial electricity, it is hard to understand why governments are not pushing much harder to tap the technology's potential as the European Union is looking for sustainable and secure energy supply.”

Oliver Schäfer, EPIA President, said: "The European solar companies are ready for much more, but we need a stable regulatory framework. … "Solar is now a predictable source of energy - and European policy makers simply have to understand that and design an energy system based on solar power."

EPIA’s installation totals given out at the workshop are the initial results of the organization’s yearly survey on global solar markets. The final numbers will be released in EPIA’s Global Market Outlook (GMO) in June.

Further analysis of EPIA's figures is given in Mark Osborne's latest blog post here.

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