The EPIA's report “Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics Until 2016” reports a remarkable growth trend throughout 2011, despite a serious economic and financial crisis and a period of consolidation.
Nevertheless, the PV market saw unpredicted growth both in Europe and around the world. The report is based on data supplied from industry members, government agencies, utilities and national associations and makes predictions for the next five years. For 2011 it found that:
- 29.7 GW of capacity were connected to the grid, up from 16.8 GW in 2010;
- PV is now the third most important renewable energy source after hydro and wind power in terms of installed global capacity;
- Europe still accounts for the predominant share of the global PV market with 75% of all installed capacity during 2011;
- Italy was at the top of the market with 9.3 GW, followed by Germany with 7.5 GW. The two countries accounted for nearly 60% of global PV growth during the past year;
- China was the top non-European PV market during 2011 with 2.2 GW installed, followed by the USA with 1.9 GW.
The report warns that such a rapid rate of growth cannot last forever but that nevertheless the long term prospects for growth are good.
PV now produces at least 2% of Europe’s electricity supply with 4% of peak demand.