San Francisco, March 17, 2010 — Worldwide solar photovoltaic installations reached a record high of 6.43 GW in 2009 — a 6 percent year to year growth, according to the latest Marketbuzz 2010 Report from Solarbuzz, an international solar energy market research and consulting company.
In addition, the company reported that the photovoltaic industry generated $38 billion in global revenues in 2009, while successfully raising more than $13.5 billion in equity and debt, up 8 percent on the prior year.
According to the company’s Marketbuzz 2010 Report, European countries accounted for 4.75 GW, or 74 percent of world demand in 2009.
The top three countries in Europe were Germany, Italy and Czech Republic, which accounted for 4.07 GW in PV solar generation. 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 percent of its prior year level. The third largest market in the world was the U.S., which grew 36 percent to 485 MW. Following closely behind was a rejuvenated Japan, ranked fourth and growing 109 percent year to year.
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 percent of that total.
China and Taiwan production continued to build share and now accounts for 49 percent of global cell production. Of total European demand, net cell imports accounted for 74 percent of the total.
Solar cell production exceeding the market demand caused the weighted crystalline silicon module price average for 2009 to crash 38 percent 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.
Solarbuzz, a division of The NPD Group, is a market research-based business focused on the solar energy and photovoltaic industries since 2001.