Significant growth in worldwide installations of PV modules for 2008 has been reported by market research firm, Solarbuzz LLC. Installations reached 5.95GW – a growth rate of 110% compared to 2007, which saw installations reach 2.826GW. The PV industry generated $37.1 billion in global revenues in 2008, according to Solarbuzz.
On a regional basis, Spain surpassed Germany for PV installations for the first time. Solarbuzz said that installations reached 2.46GW in 2008, compared to 1.86GW in Germany. The lack of a cap on installations, coupled to favourable FITs (Feed in Tariffs) in Spain were key factors behind the surge in installation in Spain. The Spanish Government has consequently imposed a 500MW cap on installations.
Europe accounted for 82% of world demand, strengthening its position as the key market for the PV industry.
“Twelve months ago, we projected that as early as the fourth quarter of 2008 the PV industry would no longer be constrained by solar module supply, but instead by market demand,” said Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz LLC. “Now, the PV industry will need to navigate major changes in the regional demand mix, with new markets emerging, while addressing excess supply positions and significant adjustments to industry pricing.”
Solar cell production was reported to have reached 6.85GW in 2008, up from 3.44GW in 2007. Solarbuzz noted that China and Taiwan increased their share of global solar cell production to 44% in 2008, up from 35% in 2007. Thin-film production grew by 123% to 0.89GW, according to the market research firm.