Global PV market up 139% Tougher times ahead

Photo: Neville Micallef/stckxchng

This article was first published on Leonardo Energy on 5th September 2011

A record 18.2 GW of solar photovoltaics was installed across the world in 2010, according to the annual survey from the Californian solar energy consultancy Solarbuzz. That is growth of 139% in installations over 2009.

The survey reports that the PV industry generated US $82 billion in global revenues in 2010, up 105% over 2009. The top five countries by PV market size were: Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Japan, and the United States.

While the Japanese (+101%) and the US (+96%) markets grew strongly, Europe dominated PV installation. Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic installed 12.9 GW (more than 70% of the global total). All European countries combined installed 14.7 GW or 81% of global demand. Over 100 countries made some contribution to the strong growth figures for last year.

The production of solar cells more than doubled during the year. It reached 20.5 GW in 2010, up from 9.86 GW in 2009. Thin film production accounted for 13.5% of total production.

China and Taiwan now account for 59% of global cell production, up from 49% last year. Based on MW produced, the top ten cell manufacturers in 2010 were Suntech Power (joint first); JA Solar (joint first); First Solar; Q-Cells; Motech Industries; Gintech Energy; (joint seventh) Kyocera; (joint seventh) Sharp; Trina Solar; and SunPower.

The Top 8 polysilicon manufacturers had 145,200 tonnes per annum of capacity in 2010, while the Top 8 wafer manufacturers accounted for 45% of global wafer supply. Crystalline silicon factory gate module prices dropped 14% in 2010. That is significantly less than the 38% price reduction in the previous year.

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About Aedan Kernan

Aedan is a business communications specialist with interests in the development of new technologies and in environmental issues. He is a former managing editor of Supply Network magazine and former editor of Industry Europe. He has edited or written Annual Reports for public limited companies in the UK and the Netherlands. Aedan has also written extensively for Higher Education institutions, mainly on research and internal management issues.


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