In its newly published Snapshot of Global PV Markets 2014, the IEA PVPS said preliminary market numbers showed that both IEA PVPS network countries as well as other major markets installed about 38.7 GW of global PV capacity last year, up from 37.6 GW in 2013.
The figure raises total installed capacity in IEA PVPS countries and key markets to at least 177 GW, with 155 GW in IEA-PVPS countries and another estimated 22 GW of capacity installed in other major countries, according to the March 30 report, which provides estimated data about PV capacity in the countries reporting to the IEA PVPS Programme and additional key markets.
IEA PVPS points out that after several years of rapid growth and a stabilization in 2012, the PV market grew to at least 37.6 GW in 2013 and then slightly in 2014.
With the biggest share for the second year in a row, the Asia Pacific region represented about 59% of the global PV market in 2014. While Europe still represented 59% of this global market in 2012, its market share felt to 18%, a consequence of a reduced market in Europe and a growing global PV market.
The PV market in the America’s continued to grow with the United States, Canada and Chile leading the race. The Middle East remains a region in development for the PV market, despite major announcements. Africa installed close to 1 GW thanks to the South African PV market.
The most important development, according to the IEA PVPS, was seen in China, which revised its 2013 numbers downwards to 10.95 GW and saw its market decreasing slightly in 2014 to 10.6 GW, with concerns about the ability to develop distributed PV. The second largest market was Japan with 9.7 GW in 2014, ahead of the U.S. with 6.2 GW and three European markets: the United Kingdom at 2.3 GW, Germany down at 1.9 GW and France with close to 1 GW.
In 19 countries the annual PV contribution to electricity demand has passed the 1% mark, with Italy at the top with at least 7.9 % followed by Greece at 7.6% and Germany at 7%. The overall European PV contribution amounts to about 3.5% of Europes electricity demand. Australia, Denmark, Israel and Japan have also passed the 2% mark but larger consumers, such as China and the U.S., will require more PV capacity to reach this threshold, the organization says.
The IEA PVPS added that PV had become a major source of electricity "extremely rapidly in several countries all over the world," pointing out that the speed of its development "stems from its unique ability to cover most market segments, from the very small individual systems for rural electrification to utility-size power plants (today above 500 MW)."
The organization adds that from the built environment to large ground-mounted installations, PV is finding its way thanks to its inherent advantages that make it suitable for most environments.
The IEA PVPS will follow the Snapshot report with its Trends Report in September.