Global PV Market Expected To Reach 19 GW Next Year

The global PV market is predicted to see double-digit growth again in 2011, growing to 19 GW, according to new research from IMS Research. Although the market in Germany – the world's largest – is still predicted to decline next year, IMS Research has identified dozens of new and existing markets that will help drive demand and counteract this fall.

The company, which released new forecasts following its latest quarterly survey of cell, module and inverter suppliers, as well as major system integrators, also reconfirmed its earlier prediction that installations will easily exceed 16 GW this year – a figure much higher than what others are predicting for the industry.

These latest results revealed that although the German market may fall from around 8 GW this year, other key markets will more than make up the shortfall and installations will again grow at a double-digit rate. Installations in five markets alone will grow by 3 GW in 2011, and the countries will account for 40% of global demand.

‘Despite a projected fall of the German market, we are still very positive about the development of the PV market in 2011 and see the market growing to at least 19 GW,’ says Ash Sharma, PV research director at IMS Research. ‘We see high demand from gigawatt-sized markets, such as Italy and the U.S., continuing, as well as fresh demand from many emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia.’

Despite the current high concentration of demand in a handful of countries, the PV market appears to be diversifying, IMS Research says. ‘We've identified 18 markets that will each install at least 100 MW next year, up from just eight markets in 2009,’ Sharma says. ‘This is hugely encouraging to the future health of the PV industry; it means it will eventually become much less dependent upon just one or two countries and less susceptible to huge swings in demand caused by changes to incentive schemes.’

Germany's share of the PV market, which is predicted to fall to 46% in 2010, is forecast to continue to decline in 2011 to less than 35% and continue to drop steadily after that. Conversely, the Americas' and Asia's shares are forecast to climb over the next five years, and these regions will become major drivers to the industry.

Looking beyond 2011, IMS Research predicts installation growth for at least the next four years, with more than 100 GW of new PV capacity being added.

SOURCE: IMS Research

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