Asia was said to be responsible for almost half of the global total installed in the fourth quarter of 2012, with more than 4 GW. Furthermore, the region is forecast to grow to 15 GW this year, surpassing Europe which will drop to 13 GW.
Nevertheless, IHS Solar is less optimistic with respect to China and predicts that it will install 6 GW and not 10 GW, an amount that was expected within the industry.
"The continued issue of grid-connecting megawatt-scale PV projects, as well as delays in developers receiving FIT payments, is likely to hold back China from installing more this year. Even so, a dwindling European market and restrictions on Chinese modules could well drive higher domestic installations," said Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS.
Meanwhile, Europe reportedly accounted for 57% of the installed photovoltaic capacity in 2012, a significant drop compared to 2011, when it installed 70% of the global total. And it is expected to fall further this year to just 37%. While in Europe last year 18 GW were installed, in 2013 it will fall to 13 GW.
Despite Europes plunge in 2013, elsewhere in the world, IHS Solar forecasts growth rates of 250% for the Middle-East & Africa, 50% in the Americas and 65% in Asia.
IHS Solars 2012 photovoltaic figures are slightly more optimistic than those released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday. In its report, "A snapshot of global PV 1992-2012," it says that nearly 29 GW of photovoltaic systems were installed in 2012, with Europe accounting for 16 GW.