Worldwide Solar Photovoltaic Market Reaches Record High of 6.43 Gigawatt in 2009

PV Industry Generates $38B in Revenue in 2009 and Forecast to Return to Growth in 2010 and Beyond

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, March 17, 2010—Worldwide solar photovoltaic (PV) installations reached a record high of 6.43 gigawatt (GW) in 2009—a 6% Y/Y growth, according to the latest Marketbuzz® 2010 Report from Solarbuzz®, an international solar energy market research and consulting company, and a division of The NPD Group. In addition, the company reported that the PV industry generated $38 billion in global revenues in 2009, while successfully raising more than $13.5 billion in equity and debt, up 8% on the prior year.

According to the company's Marketbuzz 2010 Report, European countries accounted for 4.75 GW, or 74% of world demand in 2009. The top three countries in Europe were Germany, Italy and Czech Republic, which collectively accounted for 4.07 GW. All three countries experienced soaring demand with Italy becoming the second largest market in the world. In contrast, Spanish demand in 2009 collapsed to just 4% of its prior year level. The third largest market in the world was the US, which grew 36% to 485 MW. Following closely behind was a rejuvenated Japan, ranked fourth and growing 109% Y/Y.

Worldwide solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 9.34 GW in 2009, up from 6.85 GW a year earlier, with thin film production accounting for 18% of that total. China and Taiwan production continued to build share and now accounts for 49% of global cell production. Of total European demand, net cell imports accounted for 74% of the total.

The top seven polysilicon manufacturers had 114,500 tons per annum of capacity in 2009, up 92% Y/Y, while the top eight wafer manufacturers accounted for 32.9% of global wafer capacity in 2009.

Solar cell production exceeding the market demand caused the weighted crystalline silicon module price average for 2009 to crash 38% from the prior year level. This reduction in crystalline silicon prices also had the effect of eroding their percentage premium to thin film factory gate pricing.

Looking forward, the industry will return to high growth in 2010 and over the next five years. Even in the slowest growth scenario, the global market will be 2.5 times its current size by 2014. Using the fastest growth forecast, annual industry revenues would approach $100 billion by 2014.

"Industry performance in 2009 was remarkable in that it managed to more than fully replace the 2.3 GW demand gap caused by the change in policy in Spain," remarked Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz.

"Looking forward, the industry will see a return to high growth, but in a low margin environment. Our analysis demonstrates that a wide range of start-up markets will help offset a slowdown in German demand in the second half of 2010."

After providing a comprehensive look back at 2009 industry results, the report devotes one-third of its content to the 2010-2014 forecast, including a thorough preview of market developments, policies, prices and production requirements that are essential to shape corporate strategies over this period.
Manufacturing costs, gross margins and capital expenditure profiles are also addressed. In total, the analysis in the new Marketbuzz 2010 Report references 112 countries across the world in 2009. Further details about the report's Content Outline and Figures/Tables are also available. For more information on the report, contact Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, email, or contact your contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

About Solarbuzz®
Solarbuzz, a division of The NPD Group, is a globally recognized market research-based business focused on the solar energy and photovoltaic industries since 2001. The company has an experienced team of industry experts, who have worked at some of the most successful companies in the solar energy industry today. Solarbuzz clients include all of the largest global PV manufacturers, together with major investment banks, equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, hedge fund companies, a wide range of other multi-nationals considering participation in this industry, and the largest PV system integrators. Solarbuzz offers a wide-array of reports, including Marketbuzz®, an annual global PV industry report, and Solarbuzz QUARTERLY, which provides historical and forecast data on the global PV supply chain. The company's research also provides annual Downstream PV Market Reports by region for the European, Asia Pacific and US markets. In addition, Solarbuzz dot com is a recognized and respected online resource for the solar industry. For more information, visit

About DisplaySearch
Since 1996, DisplaySearch has been recognized as a leading global market research and consulting firm specializing in the $770 billion display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries. DisplaySearch provides trend information, forecasts, and analyses developed by a global team of experienced analysts with extensive industry knowledge and resources. In collaboration with The NPD Group, its parent company, DisplaySearch uniquely offers a true, end-to-end view of the display supply chain from materials and components to shipments of electronic devices with displays to sales of major consumer and commercial channels. For more information on DisplaySearch analysts, reports, and industry events, visit us at Read our blog at www dot displaysearchblog dot com and follow us on Twitter at @DisplaySearch.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit www dot npd dot com and www dot npdgroupblog dot com. Follow us on Twitter at npdtech and npdgroup.

Solarbuzz and Marketbuzz are registered trademarks of The NPD Group.

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