In line with figures from NPD Solarbuzz, "A snapshot of global PV 1992-2012," released by the IEA, through its Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS), states that nearly 29 GW of photovoltaic systems were installed in 2012.
This brings cumulative capacity to around 96.5 GW, write the reports authors, who remain skeptical that the 100 GW capacity mark has been passed, as the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) claimed back in April.
Nevertheless, it states that photovoltaic technology has become a "major actor" in the global electricity sector. "At least 110 TWh, or 110 billion kWh will be produced in 2013 by PV systems already installed," write the reports authors. "If this represents about 0.5% of the electricity demand of the planet, some countries have reached rapidly significant percentages. These 110 TWh represent the annual consumption of countries such as The Netherlands or Egypt."
Meanwhile, in Europe, photovoltaics remained, for the second year in a row, the first source of electricity installed (power-wise).
10 countries represent 88% of world PV market
Overall, the report says that 10 countries accounted for 88% of the global photovoltaics market in 2012.
In Europe, it says that while photovoltaic capacity fell from 22 GW in 2011 to 16.9 GW in 2012, the region still represents 59% of the global market (down from 82% in 2010).
In Germany and Italy alone, it adds which ranked first (7.6 GW) and third (3.3 GW), respectively in terms of 2012 installed capacity the countries could cover 5.6% and 5.75% of their respective electricity needs with photovoltaics.
Asia, meanwhile, recorded the biggest photovoltaic growth spurt last year, with installations rising 66%. The region accounted for 30% of the photovoltaic market in 2012, up from 17% in 2010. China performed most favorably last year, with 3.5 GW of new installations, thus ranking second in the global photovoltaic race.
The table below shows the top 10 countries in terms of 2012 installed photovoltaic capacity and cumulative capacity:
Other countries which made impressive photovoltaic progress in 2012, include:
- Denmark, which through net metering added 310 MW
- Switzerland, which added 200 MW
- Austria, which added 230 MW
- Thailand, which added around 210 MW
- Malaysia, which added 22 MW
- Canada, which added 268 MW
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