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Solar PV forecast brightens for 2011

IMS Research forecasts over 22 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity will added in 2011.

By Isabella Kaminski

IMS Research has increased its forecast for the year by more than 1 GW and over 22 GW of new solar PV capacity will be added in 2011.

The market research firm points to growing solar PV demand in all major markets, most notably in Asia and the Americas, as well as a pick-up in the sluggish German market as reasons behind the increase. IMS Research projects that solar PV installations in the second half of the year will be nearly double that seen in the first 6 months.

IMS Research’s latest Global PV Demand report predicts that despite a weak Q1 and Q2 2011, demand will grow rapidly in the second half of the year due to rapidly falling module prices, incoming incentives in new markets and planned end of year cuts in existing markets.

Ash Sharma, IMS Research Senior Research Director for PV, says: “Although installations grew just 13% in Q2 from Q1 the results of our latest report show that there will be a huge surge in installations in the second half of the year. Several mid-sized markets like the USA are growing massively whilst markets like Germany and Italy are starting to pick up too”.

IMS Research has also updated and released its top 10 markets for 2011 and reveals that, although Europe still dominates the global PV market, only four of the 10 most important markets in 2011 will be European, with Asian markets ranking prominently.

According to the report, several European markets – including Germany – could face a major slowdown or even a fall in 2011. However, Europe overall is only expected to be down 1% this year due to geographic diversification, with high demand coming from a number of new countries such as Slovakia and the UK.

IMS Research also predicts that China will become a key player for solar PV in the long term (not just for production), with it becoming one of the top three global markets in 2015. The recently introduced national feed-in tariff, which pays a premium for installations completed this year, but continues past the end of the year, is expected to play a key role.

According to IMS Research, the 10 most important solar PV markets in 2011 will be:

1. Germany
2. Italy
3. USA
4. China
5. Japan
6. France
7. Australia
8. India
9. Spain
10. Canada

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity