2008: an exceptional year for the Photovoltaic Market

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) presented its annual market figures to its members on Friday 20 March 2009. The global solar photovoltaic (PV) market grew to at least 5.5 GW[1] in 2008 compared to 2.4 GW in 2007. Spain ranks first, followed by Germany.

At its 4th Market Potential and Production Capacity Workshop on Friday 20 March in Frankfurt, EPIA presented its global market analysis and projections for the next 5 years.

In 2008, the global PV market reached 5.5 GW and the installed capacity totaled almost 15 GW compared to 9 GW in 2007. Spain represented almost half of new installations in 2008 with about 2.5 GW new capacities, followed by Germany with 1.5 GW additional connected systems in the last year. USA confirmed its trend with 342 MW newly installed capacities, followed by South Korea which registered 274 MW of PV installations over the year. Italy connected almost 260 MW while France, Portugal, Belgium and the Czech Republic made good scores confirming Europe's global leadership in the deployment of solar PV energy.

"A diversification of the market is taking place with countries adopting appropriate support policies, this is very good news for the PV industry and the environment" said Dr. Winfried Hoffmann, President of EPIA, in his concluding speech.

EPIA's market and production forecasts for the next 5 years were also presented. Given the current crisis context, high uncertainties over the 2009 market exist. This year, experts believe the market could reach up to 7 GW, each individual country's development influencing the final figure. In particular Spain recently changed its support scheme, setting-up a cap which will limit the development of the global market in 2009. The PV sector is hoping other markets such as the US, Germany, France and Italy will pull the demand. Favourable policy frameworks are expected to further accelerate PV deployment in these countries. In 2013, the global PV market could reach 22 GW if appropriate policies, such as feed-in tariffs, are in place. These figures will be presented in detail at EPIA's 3rd International Conference on Solar Photovoltaic Investments on 7-8 April 2009 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Top 10 PV Markets in 2008 (MW)

Spain 2,511
Germany 1,500
USA 342
South Korea 274
Italy 258
Japan 230
Czech Republic 51
Portugal 50
Belgium 48
France 46

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