Market Watch

Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
In 2008, the global PV market reached 5.6GW and the cumulative PV power installed totalled almost 15GW compared to 9GW in 2007. Spain represented almost half of the new installations in 2008 with about 2.5GW, followed by Germany with 1.5GW additional connected systems. USA confirmed its trend with 342MW newly installed PV systems, followed by South Korea which registered 274MW of PV installations over the year. Italy connected almost 260MW while France, Portugal, Belgium and the Czech Republic made good scores confirming Europe’s global leadership in the deployment of solar PV energy. A diversification of the market is taking place with countries adopting appropriate support policies.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
In order to stimulate the economy and create jobs, the bill includes over US$6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects, solar in particular. Industry representatives have estimated that the bill will create 67,000 jobs in the solar power sector this year and a total of 119,000 jobs over the next two years.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
In the few years since the PV cell and module manufacturing industry first hit the radar, the identities of the winners and losers in the race to supply equipment have started to emerge. While some companies can genuinely claim to have been involved in the solar industry for some time, the majority are relatively new on the scene. This is hardly surprising, as the explosive growth in demand spurred any company with matching competences into action. In fact, over 300 equipment companies have been attracted to the industry since 2003 by the prospect of a share in a market valued at $4.4 billion in 2008. For the first time, a detailed analysis of the PV equipment suppliers has been compiled by VLSI Research. The Top 10 in this list are presented here and discussed in relation to their achievements in the industry and their outlook for 2009 and beyond.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
News of credit crunch woes filtering down the lines over the past few months has instilled a sense of frugality in all industry sectors. While the credit crisis has indeed affected the PV industry, German banks, investors and creditors have claimed that the financing of small PV systems in the private sector seems not to be endangered. Downstream players are still optimistic, but the upstream sector is anticipating severe damage as a result of the economic situation. An interactive workshop-style discussion, hosted by the German market researcher EuPD Research and its consulting division 360Consult, invited top-level executives to contribute their experiences of the current financial situation, as discussed in this paper.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
The Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) International Standards Program has a proven track record of more than 35 years of facilitating standards for high-tech industries, and aims to apply its experience to the emerging PV industry. Unlike other pre-established industries, where standard activities are mainly initiated by mature companies with clear requirements to standards, the PV industry, with its huge number of newly founded companies, is currently focused on ramping up their production lines and stabilizing their production processes. By structuring and utilizing standards requirements, it is possible to focus recourses to the most valuable standards in this critical phase of the fast-growing PV industry. SEMI intends to achieve these goals by proving recommendations for new standards activities, linking experts together to accomplish the deliverables, and speed up the process of standards deployment.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
Three buzzwords dominate the discussion about the future of the photovoltaic market in the U.S. right now: ITC (investment tax credit), credit crunch, and Obama. All three have the potential to shape how the solar industry will look in the next decades. Primary data results from EuPD Research show that after a year that featured much wailing and gnashing of teeth, market participants are now “realistically optimistic” on the prospects for the industry, despite the influence of the international credit crisis.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
The continued tight supply and high cost of polysilicon, coinciding with the growth in demand for solar energy, has been a key catalyst for the rapid adoption of thin-film technologies in just the last two years. Although the technology has in development for over 15 years, it is only now that thin film has emerged as a viable low cost-per-watt alternative to conventional crystalline silicon cells. Taiwan, a powerhouse in the electronics and microelectronics industries, is also turning its attention to photovoltaics. Playing catch-up is something at which the Taiwanese have proven to be very effective, with a growing emphasis on thin film as a means to become another major centre and net exporter.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
The photovoltaic industry was once, and for quite some time, the unappreciated renewable technology. Perceived as too expensive without subsidies to reduce the price of ownership, and sometimes as an energy choice primarily for environmental zealots, the industry has continued, nonetheless, to grow at a compound annual rate of 34% over the past 30 years. Growth at this rate would be envied by any industry, and certainly deserves recognition, particularly as it has come with significant problems and has been extremely difficult to achieve. Now, with worldwide consensus on global warming along with sufficient evidence that fossil fuels are rapidly depleting, solar electricity is finally earning some respect - but the industry still has perception problems to solve.

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