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Mixed prospects for European PV industry

The recently-published European Photovoltaics Industry Association (EPIA) Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics from 2010 to 2014 is a key publication for the PV sector. Here PES publishes an exclusive extract …

The EPIA Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics (PV) from 2010 to 2014 is based on an internal analysis of market data from industry members, national associations, government agencies and electric utilities. EPIA market figures are a credible and authoritative source of short-term market forecasts as well as long-term scenarios. With the massive growth of the market, data reliability is becoming a crucial issue: industry players, electric utilities and policy makers must count on reliable data to orientate their decisions, launch investments or plan legislation updates.

A bright future for PV
With the strong growth experienced in Germany and Italy in the first months of 2010 and in order to publish accurate numbers, EPIA revised its forecasts for 2010: the World PV Market could reach between 10.1 GW and 15.5 GW of new installations in 2010 under the Moderate Scenario and the Policy-Driven Scenario respectively, compared to 8.2 to 12.7 GW in the previous forecast. In the Policy-Driven scenario, the World annual PV market could reach up to 30 GW in 2014 based, of course, on favourable conditions established by policy makers, regulators and the energy sector at large. While the announced world-wide PV production capacity would be sufficient to cover the expected evolution of the market in the coming five years, we could nevertheless see some temporary shortages due to high variations in the demand patterns which could occur. Inverters and, to some extent crystalline silicon capacities, could be used at a very high rate in the coming months in order to cope with the growing demand. Given all the caution that such forecasts require, they still suggest a strong growth of the PV market and industry in the coming five years.

Market forecasts until 2014
As evidenced in the EPIA SET For 2020 study (www.setfor2020.eu), PV could provide up to 12 per cent of the EU electricity demand by 2020 provided specific boundary conditions are met, and be competitive with other electricity sources in as much as 76 per cent of the EU electricity market by 2020, in the absence of any form of external price support or subsidy.


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