Despite the "very weak" start to 2011, the market research firm forecasts a 2011 photovoltaic market of 22 GW with installations doubling in the second half of the year. The Global PV Demand report, which looks at installations in more than 60 downstream markets, attributes the growth in demand to rapidly falling module prices, incentives in new markets and an increase in activity as developers try to finish projects before end-of-year incentive cuts come into effect.
IMS Researchs Ash Sharma said, in a statement delivering the report, "there will be a huge surge in installations in the second half of the year. Several mid-sized markets like the U.S. are growing massively whilst markets like Germany and Italy are starting to pick up too."
The new national FIT program in China is sited as a factor in the report, with installations worth 1.3 GW predicted this year and more than 2 GW in 2012. IMS Research predicts the Chinese downstream market will become one of the top three by 2015.
The European market is also observed as not acting as a homogenous group, with slowdowns in countries such as Germany being partly offset by increases in new markets such as the U.K. and Slovakia. 11 countries in Europe are expected to install at least 100 megawatts (MW) of capacity, with 20 countries predicted to do so globally.
PVs top 10
IMS Research has also updated its top 10 photovoltaic markets for 2011 list (pictured), revealing that while Europe will account for 70 percent of global installations, Asia also features strongly. Germany and Italy head the list, followed by the U.S. and China, Japan, France, Australia, India, Spain and Canada.
An optimistic outlook for 2012
In its report, IMS Research has also raised its outlook for 2012. "The decision by the Chinese Government to introduce a national FIT to boost flagging demand, as well as a diversifying global market and the introduction of new incentive schemes globally presents a much more optimistic, but still very challenging future for the industry," concluded Sharma.