By Renewable Energy Focus staff
According to EPIA’s latest Global Market Outlook, the global cumulative solar PV market reached 40 GW at the end of 2010 with 16.6 GW added in 2010 alone. Solar PV is thereby now potentially producing around 50 TWh annually.
“The numbers reveal the outstanding potential of PV to make major contributions to the energy landscape of the future. The currently installed global PV capacity produces power equivalent to the entire electricity consumption of countries like Greece, Romania or Switzerland,” says Ingmar Wilhelm, EPIA President.
Germany continued its lead with 7.4 GW installed in 2010. Italy came second with 2.3 GW of solar PV.
The Czech Republic saw 1.5 GW of solar PV installations in 2010, but EPIA says this is unlikely to be sustained in 2011.
Other top solar PV countries include Japan (990 MW), US (900 MW), France (700 MW), Belgium (420 MW), and Spain (370 MW).
In total, the EU added over 13 GW of new solar PV capacity.
Towards grid parity
EPIA predicts that grid parity could be reached for small residential and commercial systems in coming years in several countries, and solar PV is expected to reach competitiveness around Europe by 2020.
“The evolution of the PV market in recent years has been heavily linked to the confidence and vision of smart policy makers and supporting the development of the technology,” Wilhelm says.
“Adequate support policies that have been driving the markets so far, such as the feed-in tariffs, must continue and be ever better in tune with the declining cost curve of PV. The PV industry also supports well-designed support schemes that simplify the authorisation processes and moreover limit the cost for electricity consumers while ensuring the development of the market and industry.”