Global solar photovoltaic installations up 24% to 24 GW in 2011

Global solar photovoltaic installations will rise 24% this year, despite a weak start, to reach 24 GW, according to a report by IMS Research.

But the overall rise masks a mere 3% increase in installations in Europe and Italy over take Germany as the world’s largest market. According to IMS Research’s PV Demand Database, Italy installed 6.8 GW of new solar capacity this year.

Installations fell in Germany and the Czech Republic, and there were slowdowns elsewhere in Europe. European nations, including the UK, now only make up four of the top ten solar markets.

“Despite installing just 45 MW last year, the UK is set to install more than 500 MW in 2011 and become the 8th largest market,” says research director Ash Sharma.

The recent cut to feed-in tariffs will produce a last minute surge in orders, which could tail off again next year.

But while the European solar market is stagnating, says IMS Research, the US and Asian markets are performing well. The US looks set to become the third largest market this year, followed by China.

“The photovoltaic market continues to diversify,” says Sharma. “This will create short-term pain for suppliers that can no longer solely rely on one market to fuel their growth, but creates long-term stability for the industry by helping to balance the effects of a single country’s incentive policy and reduce large swings in supply and demand.”

The evidence, says Sharma, is the identification of 20 markets installing more than 100 MW of solar power, compared with 14 last year.

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17 November 2011