2010 PV installation forecast boosted

This year, worldwide installations will amount to 15.8 gigawatts (GW), says the company, up from its previous outlook of 14.2 GW. It explains this will represent 118.7 percent growth from 7.2 GW in 2009. iSuppli now forecasts that installations in 2011 will amount to 19.3 GW, down slightly from its previous forecast of 20.2 GW.

"Germany’s solar business – the world’s largest market – grew at an extraordinary rate in the second quarter of 2010, causing PV installations to exceed expectations during the first half of the year," said Stefan de Haan, senior analyst, for iSuppli. "In the first half, Germany installed 3.9 GW worth of solar systems. Germany’s surprising performance was driven by excellent investment conditions and demand pull-forward prior to a cut of the country’s feed-in tariff ncentive program in July."

iSuppli says that while it has trimmed its 2011 forecast, next year still is expected to be "very strong" for the PV market. Ironically, it states that the strong performance for the entire year will be driven by a seasonal slowdown in installations during the first six months of 2011. This deceleration, it explains, will drive down pricing for solar modules and stimulate demand in the second half of the year.

"The solar market frequently suffers a slowdown in the first quarter of a year, and 2011 will be no exception," de Haan continued. "This deceleration will cause inventories of PV solar modules to rise—and pricing for solar modules to drop, boosting sales for the entire year."

Average worldwide pricing for crystalline solar modules will decline by nine percent in the first quarter of the year, according to iSuppli, and by six percent in the second quarter. It says these price declines will be "sufficient" to enable system prices of 1.9 euros to 2.7 euros per watt in Germany – depending on the system size. Once this level is reached, demand will pick up again.

iSuppli concluded by stating that it reiterates its expectation of a strong market in Germany next year with 9.4 GW worth of new installations.