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Global solar PV demand reaches 20.4 GW in 2011

Global solar photovoltaic (PV) demand could reach 20.4 GW in 2011, according to Solarbuzz.

In the third quarter (Q3) of 2010, solar PV demand was up 107% from the same period last year, reaching 4 GW. Total industry revenues for the quarter were US$17.9 billion, up 74% on the same quarter last year.

According to the Solarbuzz Quarterly report, 10.6 GW of solar PV were installed in the first 9 months of 2010, charting a course for a record year.

As a result, Solarbuzz has increased its 2010 forecast to 16.3 GW for 2010, an outcome that would represent 117% growth on 2009.

Solarbuzz also says that Chinese solar PV manufacturers accounted for 51% of global shipments in Q3’10, up from 47% in the same quarter one year earlier. Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers took 8 out of the top 12 solar cell manufacturer positions.

China-based JA Solar captured the lead in solar cell shipments with an 8% market share in Q3’10, with Suntech Power and First Solar taking second and third positions, respectively.


Looking ahead, Solarbuzz forecasts a global PV market of 20.4 GW in 2011, as policy changes in Germany and Czech Republic take effect at the beginning of 2011. These will dramatically slow the solar PV industry’s growth rate next year.

“The large price reductions of 2009 created the platform for spectacular growth in 2010,” says Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz. “However, manufacturers plan strong capacity and shipment growth in 2011. This will encourage prices to drop, but they will need to fall further than incentive tariffs in key world markets to maintain strong growth next year.”

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets