The European Photovoltaic Industry Association’s annual report on the global market outlook for photovoltaics is always a welcome addition to PES, and this year is no different. As always, we’ve extracted the most important points covering the evolution of the European market, for a fascinating and essential briefing.
A doubling of the market in 2010
The PV industry experienced significant growth in 2010. Capacity additions grew from 7.2 gigawatts (GW) installed in 2009 to 16.6 GW in 2010. The total installed capacity in the world now amounts to around 40 GW, producing some 50 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electrical power every year. This major increase was linked to the rapid growth of the German and Italian markets. With 7.4 GW installed in Germany in just one year, the country continues to dominate the PV market worldwide. Italy installed 2.3 GW, starting to exploit some of the potential of its huge solar resources. Other countries also saw significant growth.
The Czech Republic experienced a burst to 1.5 GW in 2010 that is, however, unlikely to be sustained in 2011. Japan and the USA almost reached the gigawatt mark with 990 and 900 megawatts (MW) respectively, installed last year. France reached over 700 MW, while Spain regained some ground by installing 370 MW after two years of strongly adverse conditions. Belgium connected more than 420 MW of PV capacity to the grid in 2010. The entire European Union installed slightly more than 13 GW of PV capacity in 2010 while the rest of the world accounted for over 3 GW.