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German solar PV installations to fall in 2011

The global solar photovoltaic (PV) market is predicted to see double-digit growth in 2011, growing to 19 GW, but the German market is predicted to decline.

Analyst IMS Research has reconfirmed its earlier prediction that solar PV installations will easily exceed 16 GW this year – a figure much higher than others are predicting for the industry.

Whilst the German market may fall from around 8 GW this year, other key markets will more than make up the shortfall and installations will again grow at a double-digit rate.

Installations in five markets alone will grow by 3 GW in 2011; and the countries will account for 40% of global solar PV demand.

PV Research Director Ash Sharma says: “Despite a projected fall of the German market, we are still very positive about the development of the PV market in 2011 and see the market growing to at least 19 GW. We see high demand from GW-sized markets such as Italy and USA continuing, as well as fresh demand from many emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia.”

Despite the current high concentration of demand in a handful of countries, the solar PV market appears to be diversifying: “We’ve identified 18 markets that will each install at least 100 MW next year, up from just 8 markets in 2009. This is hugely encouraging to the future health of the PV industry; it means it will eventually become much less dependent upon just one or two countries and less susceptible to huge swings in demand caused by changes to incentive schemes,” Sharma adds.

Germany’s share of the solar PV market, which is predicted to fall to 46% in 2010, is forecast to continue to decline in 2011 to less than 35% and continue to drop steadily after that.

Conversely the Americas’ and Asia’s shares are forecast to climb over the next five years and these regions will become major drivers to the industry.

Looking beyond 2011, IMS Research predicts installation growth for at least the next four years, with more than 100 GW of new solar PV capacity being added.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity