PV Installations Reached 17.5 GW Last Year


A new report from IMS Research estimates that new PV installations grew by a massive 130% to reach 17.5 GW in 2010. Furthermore, installations are expected to see double-digit growth and reach 20.5 GW this year, taking the total installed PV capacity to 58 GW by the end of the year.

IMS Research notes that it has raised its outlook for 2011 following its latest round of research and surveys, which identified that at least 22 countries will each install more than 50 MW this year, 18 of them will install at least 100 MW, and four will install at least 1 GW.

Reduction in demand in Germany and the Czech Republic will restrain global growth in 2011, but it will speed PV component price reduction and help to accelerate growth elsewhere.

A total of 17 GW of new installations is somewhat higher than most analysts, banks and major suppliers estimated for 2010; however, IMS Research believes most of the discrepancy can be attributed to Italy, where many others were expecting only around 1 GW to have been installed. IMS Research estimates that new capacity was in fact closer to 3 GW, based on its extensive research of the supply chain and system developers. (The actual figure will not be confirmed for at least another quarter, while regulators deal with the tens of thousands of grid-connection applications received in the final months of the year.)

Because of the decline in new installations in Germany and the Czech Republic, the report predicts the installation share for Europe, the Middle East and Africa will fall from 81% in 2010 to 68% in 2011, despite high growth still being seen in many large markets such as Italy, as well as in emerging countries such as the U.K., Greece and Bulgaria.

In addition to large regional variations, the report also predicts that PV demand will vary considerably by installation size, with utility-scale systems over 5 MW forecast to grow by nearly 50% in 2011, and installations between 10 kW and 100 kW expected to stay flat – largely because of the situation in Germany.

IMS Research says its long-term outlook for the industry remains encouraging, with demand diversifying outside the usual two or three key countries and at least 34 countries expected to install more than 100 MW in 2015, up from just 13 countries last year.

SOURCE: IMS Research

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