Global solar photovoltaic installations reach a preliminary 6.4GW in 2009, says EPIA

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Preliminary 2009 market figures for the PV industry have been issued by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), after its recent workshop was held in Rome, Italy. The EPIA said that 6.4GW of newly installed capacity was achieved in 2009, reaching a total capacity of over 20GW worldwide. Although this was hailed as being the most important annual capacity increase ever, due in part to the economic recession, 2010 is expected to see installations increase by at least 40%, while the annual growth is expected to increase by more than 15%.

The contentious issue of German PV installation figures could be over with the EPIA estimating approximately 3GW was installed. Germany was the world's largest PV market in 2009 and according to the EPIA is likely to remain so again in 2010.

Italy was noted as becoming the second largest market in Europe with an expected 700MW and more installed in 2009. Continued support for PV in Italy and the grid parity factor is expected to keep Italy at the forefront of installations.

The Czech Republic also showed strong growth 2009 with 411MW installed. However, the EPIA acknowledge problems in support for solar from the Czech government and expects the market to decline in 2011, but remain in growth mode in 2010.

“This underlines the imperative need for support mechanisms to be designed in a way to ensure a long term, predictable and sustainable development of the market and avoid instability and discontinuity in market evolution” explains Adel El Gammal, Secretary General of EPIA.

Other European countries also saw PV installation growth in 2009. The EPIA noted that Belgium installed 292MW, France followed with 185MW, with another 100MW installed but not grid connected.

Spain, once the largest market in 2008, saw installations of only 60MW in 2009.

The EPIA expects Greece, Portugal and the U.K markets to show potential growth in 2010 and beyond, but didn’t give a forecast in a statement.

“In addition to the rampup of many markets in Europe, the development and opening of new markets in Asia, the Americas and Africa is paving the way to a strong and sustainable momentum of PV powered supply solutions all around the world,” commented, Ingmar Wilhelm, President of EPIA.

Installations in Japan reached 484MW, the third largest market. Close behind was the U.S. with installations reaching 475MW, in 2009.
The EPIA also noted promising markets in Canada, China and as well as the potential of Brazil, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa.

Based on its moderate and policy driven scenarios, the global PV market could reach between 8.2 (40% growth) and 12.7GW (60% growth) of new installations in 2010, respectively.

Looking further out, the EPIA noted that under a sustained policy driven scenario, the PV market could reach up to 30GW in 2014.

The EPIA Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics until 2014 will be published during April 2010.


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