Market diversity a key trend for next year

01. December 2010 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends, Top News | By:  Becky Stuart

According to the photovoltaics (PV) analysts, market diversity will be one of the key trends next year, with a number of emerging countries making up the expected shortfall of installed capacity in Germany.

PV panel

Newly installed PV capacity is once again expected to show double digit growth next year. Image: Matthias Ruhbaum/Pixelio.

IMS Research has said while the German market is expected to decline in 2011, dozens of new and existing markets will help drive demand and counteract this fall. “We’ve identified 18 markets that will each install at least 100 megawatts (MWs) next year, up from just eight markets in 2009," commented PV research director, Ash Sharma.

“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.”
The company added that next year installations in five markets alone will grow by three gigawatts (GWs), with the countries accounting for 40 percent of global demand.

The view that the market will diversify was confirmed by Saracin during an interview with pv magazine on the trends the industry can expect to see in 2011. Matthias Fawer, Senior Sustainability Analyst at the bank additionally said that eight new markets will emerge, which will make up at least 500 MWs a year in installations. These are: Italy, France, Spain, the U.S., Canada, China, India and Japan. Fawer commented: “The positive thing about the coming year is really the growing diversity in terms of countries that see a huge installation of PV systems.”

IMS went on to say that installation capacities this year will “easily” exceed 16 GWs – a figure much higher than others are predicting for the industry. Indeed, both Sarasin and the EuPD are more conservative in their estimates, predicting that between 13.4 GWs and 13.8 GWs will be installed.

Looking ahead, the research company also revealed the global PV market is expected to reach 19 GWs of installed capacity next year, once again showing double digit growth. Sharma stated: “We see high demand from GW-sized markets such as Italy and the U.S. continuing, as well as fresh demand from many emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia.” Conversely, Bank Sarasin states that just 15.1 GWs will be seen, thus representing a ten percent growth in the overall market.

Germany’s share of the PV market, which is predicted to fall to 46 percent in 2010, is forecast to continue to decline in 2011 to less than 35 percent, and continue to drop steadily after that, said IMS. However, during an interview Sharma told pv magazine there are two scenarios for Germany next year: firstly, the country could completely slow down, and install between five and six GWs - something Günther Cramer, President of the German Solar Industry Association said would be positive during his presentation at the 11th Forum Solarpraxis; or secondly, “if a cap starts to be seriously discussed by the government (…) it could have another explosive year.” Speaking on behalf of the EuPD, again at the Forum Solarpraxis, Markus Hoehner said he believes it could reach as high as 9.8 GWs.

Conversely, concluded IMS, the Americas’ and Asia’s shares are forecast to climb over the next five years and these regions will become “major drivers” in the industry.

Watch out for the December issue of pv magazine, which analyzes the trends, prices and markets likely to make an impact in 2011.


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