Solar photovoltaic markets saw “breakneck” growth in Europe last year led by Italy and Germany, according to the latest report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).
The report, Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics Until 2016, assesses the European and global market conditions over the last year and makes predictions for the next five.
According to this latest analysis, a total 29.7 GW of solar photovoltaics were connected to the grid in 2011, up from 16.8 GW the previous year.
Of that, some 21.9 GW were connected to the grid in Europe up from 13.4 GW in 2010, giving Europe a 75% share of all new capacity in 2011.
Italy came out top in Europe with 9.3 GW followed by Germany with 7.5 GW, meaning that just two nations accounted for 60% of the market growth last year.
Other nations trail behind, with China installing 2.2 GW in 2011 and the USA 1.9 GW.
On a global scale, solar photovoltaics now has the third most installed renewable capacity after hydro and wind power.
And it is becoming a significant part of Europe’s electricity mix, now producing some 2% of EU demand and around 4% of peak demand.
“The PV industry is now weathering a period of uncertainty in the short-term,” says EPIA’s president Winfried Hoffmann. “But over the medium- and long-terms the prospects for continued robust growth are good.”
The next stage, says Hoffman, is for the photovoltaic industry to demonstrate its maturity.
For further information:
Greece makes start on becoming Europe’s solar ‘powerhouse’ (20-Apr)
Economic downturn pushes renewables retrenchment (19-Apr)
Poor market conditions force Brightsource Energy to withdraw IPO (16-Apr)
14 May 2012