The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has released its annual market figures. According to the organization, the global solar photovoltaic market grew to at least 5.5 GW in 2008, compared to 2.4 GW in 2007. Spain ranks first in country-by-country PV rankings, followed by Germany.
Additionally, in 2008, installed capacity totaled almost 15 GW, compared to 9 GW in 2007. Spain represented almost half of new installations in 2008, with about 2.5 GW in new capacity, followed by Germany, with 1.5 GW additional connected systems in the last year.
The U.S. posted 342 MW in newly installed capacity, followed by South Korea, which registered 274 MW of PV installations over the year. Italy connected almost 260 MW, while France, Portugal, Belgium and the Czech Republic also made significant strides, the EPIA says.
‘A diversification of the market is taking place,’ notes Dr. Winfried Hoffmann, president of the EPIA. ‘With countries adopting appropriate support policies, this is very good news for the PV industry and the environment.’
Given the current economic crisis, however, uncertainties persist regarding 2009 market figures, the organization adds. This year, experts believe the market could reach up to 7 GW, each individual country's development influencing the final figure.
In particular, Spain recently changed its support scheme, setting up a cap that will limit the development of the global market in 2009. The PV sector is hoping other markets, such as those in the U.S, Germany, France and Italy, will register increased demand.
SOURCE: European Photovoltaic Industry Association