Worldwide solar photovoltaic (PV) installations reached a record high of 6.43 gigawatt (GW) in 2009 — a 6 percent Y/Y growth, according to thelatest Marketbuzz 2010 Report from Solarbuzz, an international solarenergy market research and consulting company, and a division of The NPD Group.
In addition, the company reported that the PV industrygenerated $38 billion in global revenues in 2009, while successfullyraising more than $13.5 billion in equity and debt, up 8 percent on theprior year.
According to the company’s Marketbuzz 2010 Report,European countries accounted for 4.75 GW, or 74 percent of the world’sdemand in 2009.
The top three countries in Europe were Germany,Italy and Czech Republic, which collectively accounted for 4.07 GW. Allthree countries experienced soaring demand with Italy becoming thesecond largest market in the world.
In contrast, Spanish demandin 2009 collapsed to just 4 percent of its prior year level. The thirdlargest market in the world was the US, which grew 36 percent to 485 MW. Following closely behind was a rejuvenated Japan, ranked fourth andgrowing 109% Y/Y.
Worldwide solar cell production reached aconsolidated figure of 9.34 GW in 2009, up from 6.85 GW a year earlier,with thin film production accounting for 18 percent of that total. China and Taiwan production continued to build share and now accounts for 49percent of global cell production. Of the total European demand, netcell imports accounted for 74 percent of the total.
The top sevenpolysilicon manufacturers had 114,500 tons per annum of capacity in2009, up 92 percent Y/Y, while the top eight wafer manufacturersaccounted for 32.9 percent of global wafer capacity in 2009.
Solar cell production exceeding the market demand caused the weightedcrystalline silicon module price average for 2009 to crash 38 percentfrom the prior year level. This reduction in crystalline silicon pricesalso had the effect of eroding their percentage premium to thin filmfactory gate pricing.
Looking forward, the industry will returnto high growth in 2010 and over the next five years. Even in the slowest growth scenario, the global market will be 2.5 times its current sizeby 2014. Using the fastest growth forecast, annual industry revenueswould approach $100 billion by 2014.
"Industry performance in2009 was remarkable in that it managed to more than fully replace the2.3 GW demand gap caused by the change in policy in Spain," remarkedCraig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz.
"Looking forward, theindustry will see a return to high growth, but in a low marginenvironment. Our analysis demonstrates that a wide range of start-upmarkets will help offset a slowdown in German demand in the second halfof 2010."