Power Electronics

Global PV Market Forecast to Reach 14.6 GW in 2010

According to latest forecasts from IMS Research, 14.6 GW of new PV capacity will be added worldwide in 2010. This 95% increase in installations will be driven by a number of countries, most notably Germany. According to IMS Research, the global PV market will almost double in 2010 to reach a massive 14.6 GW, nearly three times size of the market back in 2008. IMS Research has recently released its latest installation forecasts which are derived by carefully analysing PV demand in more than 40 countries globally. In addition, to tracking PV demand, the forecast is importantly based on a survey of inverter suppliers which analyzed the inverter industry's production for 2010.

PV Research Director, Ash Sharma commented, "Basing our forecast on inverter production is incredibly important this year as it's well documented that inverter supply is limiting the PV market to a massive extent. Although demand may be higher than this 14.6 GW, if customers are not able to secure inverters then installations will not be completed". Sharma adds, "Despite the strong underlying demand, we did however uncover a significant amount of double-ordering occurring as customers scramble to secure inverters. It's possible we may see a large number of orders cancelled in 2H'10 or excess inventory in the supply chain"

The last time a GW-sized global PV market grew on this scale was back in 2008 when the Spanish market overheated and accounted for 43% of new PV capacity. This year, Germany is of course the main driver and is predicted to account for an even greater proportion - some 47% of new capacity. Trouble may be looming ahead Sharma warns "In 2010, the top three markets - Germany, Italy and Czech Republic are predicted to install a combined 9.8 GW of new PV capacity. However, due to changes in incentive schemes and new regulations, this total is predicted to fall considerably in 2011 and new markets will need to pick up the shortfall".

Whilst at the end of 2008, when the Spanish market collapsed and PV prices went into freefall, IMS Research is predicting a more gradual slowdown in growth at the end of this year and some softening of PV module prices in Q1'11.

Despite very high demand coming from EMEA (which in 2010 will have three GW+ markets), its share of the global market is actually predicted to fall slightly to 78% in 2010 as emerging markets in Asia and North America take off.

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