Two years ago, Europe accounted for more than 70% of the worlds new PV installations. In 2012, the number was around 55%; this year, it is almost certain that the majority of new PV capacity in the world will be installed outside of Europe, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Associations (EPIAs) "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017" report.
EPIA also found that PV capacity dropped in Europe, with 17.2 GW of capacity connected to the grid last year compared to 22.4 GW in 2011.
PV was nevertheless the number-one new source of electricity generation installed in Europe for the second year in a row. PV now covers 2.6% of the electricity demand and 5.2% of the peak electricity demand in Europe.
Germany led the market in 2012 with 7.6 GW of newly connected systems, followed by China with an estimated 5 GW; Italy with 3.4 GW; the U.S. with 3.3 GW; and Japan with an estimated 2 GW.
Overall, PV saw another year of high-volume installations in 2012 with more than 31 GW of new capacity added globally, slightly more than the 30.4 GW in 2011, says EPIA. It adds that PV remains, after hydro and wind power, the third most important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed capacity.
The study stresses that the world saw significant market growth despite a period of economic crisis and industry consolidation. Yet the results of 2012 and the forecast for the coming years clearly show that Europes leading role in driving the global PV market is coming to an end.
Looking forward, the study predicts, "Under a pessimistic business-as-usual scenario, the global annual market could reach 48 GW in 2017; under a policy-driven scenario, it could be as high as 84 GW in 2017."
EPIA President Winfried Hoffmann added, "The results of 2012 signal a turning point that will have profound implications in the coming years. The global PV market is shifting from one driven mostly by Europe to one that also depends on countries around the world with varying degrees of solar potential and the political will to exploit it."
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.