EPIA revises solar market growth for 2009: global installs reached 7.2GW

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Preliminary 2009 market figures issued in March, 2010 by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) showed that installations had increased by 6.4GW, however in newly revised final figures, installations increased to at least 7.2GW in 2009. The PV market therefore grew by almost 15% in 2009 compared to 2008 and the total cumulative power installed in the World increased by 45% to 22.9 GW.

Not surprisingly the German market was a key catalyst for growth last year, which increased from 2 GW in 2008 to around 3.8 GW installed in 2009, representing more than 52% of the World PV market.

Revised figures from Italy also helped push 2009 installed figures to nearly 1GW more than the preliminary figures issued in March. Installations in Italy reached 720MW, up significantly from 338MW in 2008.

Other European countries also experienced good growth in 2009. Czech Republic and Belgium saw installations of 411MW and 292MW, respectively. France followed with 185MW installed in 2009, with an additional 100MW installed but not yet connected to the grid, according to the EPIA.

The market also developed significantly outside Europe with 484 MW installed in Japan and 477 MW (including 40 MW of off-grid applications) in the U.S.A.

However, the EPIA forecast for new emerging markets such as the UK may be overly conservative. The trade association noted that it expected the UK market to reach between 20 and 40 MW in 2010 on a ‘moderate’ analysis.

Market research firm iSuppli Corp is currently estimating installations could reach 100MW in the UK in 2010.

2010 market forecast

The EPIA is projecting that strong growth is set to continue in 2010. Despite concerns over the impact the German feed-in tariff reductions will have, Germany is still expected to retain its number one position with up to 4.5GW installed this year.

Overall, installations could reach 12.7GW, a 76% increase over 2009.

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