The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) called it an ‘exceptional year’ for the photovoltaics industry as it reviewed the PV market’s growth for 2008 in a workshop held in Frankfurt late last week. According to EPIA, the global PV market reached 5.5GW in 2008, up from 2.4GW installed in 2007 – a 129% increase year-on-year.
On a regional basis, Spain was the shining star. According to EPIA, Spain accounted for almost half of new installations, topping 2.5GW. However, that star has already faded with the Spanish imposing a 500MW cap on future installations. The most reliable and second largest market was Germany, adding 1.5GW in 2008.
Expectations are high for the U.S. to leap forward in 2009 and take up some of the slack left behind by Spain. Italy also showed growth in 2008, ranked fifth at 258MW. Some market analysts expect Italy to double installations in 2009, which could exceed 500MW.
2009 forecast and beyond
The EPIA also issued a forecast for 2009 through 2013, noting that unnamed market experts still expect strong growth in 2009 and beyond, despite the current financial crisis that has impacted large-scale installations in particular.
Installations are projected to increase to approximately 7GW in 2009 and could reach 22GW in 2013. The rapid growth, however, is subject to the right policies being implemented in a growing number of countries.
“A diversification of the market is taking place with countries adopting appropriate support policies, this is very good news for the PV industry and the environment” commented Dr. Winfried Hoffmann, President of EPIA.