Global photovoltaic demand was 4 GW in the third quarter of 2010 and up 107% over one year earlier, according to a new report from Solarbuzz. Total industry revenues for the quarter were $17.9 billion, up 74% on the same quarter last year.
According to the report, 10.6 GW of photovoltaics were installed in the first nine months of 2010, charting a course for a record year. As a result, Solarbuzz has increased its forecast to 16.3 GW for 2010, an outcome that would represent 117% growth on 2009.
The company also reported Chinese manufacturers accounted for 51% of global shipments in the third quarter of this year – up from 47% in the same quarter in 2009. Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers took eight out of the top 12 cell manufacturer positions. China-based JA Solar captured the lead in solar cell shipments with an 8% market share in the third quarter, with Suntech Power and First Solar taking second and third positions, respectively.
Looking ahead, Solarbuzz forecasts a global PV market of 20.4 GW in 2011, as policy changes in Germany and Czech Republic will take effect at the beginning of 2011. These will dramatically slow the industry's growth rate next year.
‘The large price reductions of 2009 created the platform for spectacular growth in 2010,’ notes Craig Stevens, president of Solarbuzz. ‘However, manufacturers plan strong capacity and shipment growth in 2011. This will encourage prices to drop, but they will need to fall further than incentive tariffs in key world markets to maintain strong growth next year.’