According to IMS Research’s latest analysis, the global PV market is set to contract for the first time in 2009 in terms of new installations. IMS Research’s ongoing analysis shows that although the PV market doubled in 2008 in MW terms, a contraction in shipments is anticipated in 2009. This will be caused by the sudden drop-off in demand from Spain, with its newly implemented 500MW cap. This is likely to result in a shortfall of some 1.5-2GW in 2009. Although this will in part be counter-balanced by growth in Italy and Eastern Europe, the dramatic decline of the Spanish market will lead to an overall drop in worldwide shipments.
In spite of this, underlying demand for PV remains very healthy; long term, double-digit annual growth rates can be expected. The market is likely to see dramatic changes in the next few years, with the emergence of new technologies such as micro-inverters; and the development of new and attractive regional markets such as the US, which to date has made up a low proportion of the overall global market. Difficulties in obtaining financing will restrain US market growth this year. However, in the medium term it is anticipated to become one of the largest markets for PV.