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Solar PV installations reached 17.5 GW in 2010

New solar photovoltaic (PV) installations grew by 130% to reach 17.5 GW in 2010 and growth is set to continue in 2011, says analyst IMS Research.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

Solar PV installations could see double-digit growth in 2011, to reach 20.5 GW and take the total installed capacity to 58 GW by the end of the year.

IMS Research has thereby increased its predictions for 2011, when it believes that at least 22 countries will each install more than 50 MW; 18 of them will install at least 100 MW; and four at least 1 GW.

Reduction in demand in Germany and, of course, the Czech Republic will restrain global growth in 2011, but will speed solar PV component price reduction and help to accelerate growth elsewhere, the analyst says.

IMS Research’s PV Research Director, Ash Sharma, says: “20 GW is a huge number for 2011, and would be a tremendous achievement, which I’m sure most would have thought impossible just two or three years ago. Having measured the PV supply chain at several points, our PV analyst team remains very upbeat about the market’s development this year; and even more so about the next two to three years. Our latest models predict installations of 35 GW in 2014 which certainly now looks achievable.”

Declines in Germany and the Czech Republic

Because of the decline in new solar PV installations in Germany and the Czech Republic, IMS Research predicts EMEA’s share of installations will fall from 81% in 2010 to 68% in 2011, despite high growth still being seen in many large markets such as Italy, as well as in emerging countries like the UK, Greece and Bulgaria.

Furthermore, solar PV demand could vary considerably by installation size, with utility-scale systems over 5 MW forecast to grow by nearly 50% in 2011, whilst installations between 10 and 100 kW expected to stay flat – largely because of the situation in Germany.

IMS Research’s long-term outlook for the industry remains positive, with demand diversifying outside the ‘usual’ two or three key countries and predicts that at least 34 countries will install more than 100 MW of solar PV in 2015, up from just 13 last year.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets