Power Electronics

Report forecasts 20.5 GW Solar Installations for 2011

Find a downloadable version of this story in pdf format at the end of the story.

A NEW REPORT FROM IMS RESEARCH estimates that new PV installations grew by 130% to reach 17.5 GW in 2010, confirming the firm's earlier prediction back in Q3'10 that newly added global capacity would hit 17 GW. Furthermore, the new report predicts that installations will see double-digit growth in 2011, to reach 20.5 GW and take the total installed capacity to 58 GW by the end of the year.

Despite other market forecasters revising predictions for 2010, IMS Research has in fact left its estimates for 2010 largely unchanged from its previous prediction two quarters ago, but has raised its outlook for 2011. The firm identified that at least 22 countries will each install more than 50 MW this year; 18 of them will install at least 100 MW; and 4 at least 1 GW. Reduction in demand in Germany and the Czech Republic will restrain global growth in 2011, but will speed PV component price reduction and help to accelerate growth elsewhere.

New installations of 17 GW is somewhat higher than most analysts, banks, and major suppliers estimated for 2010; however, IMS Research believes most of the discrepancy can be attributed to Italy.

Because of the decline in new installations in Germany and the Czech Republic, IMS Research predicts EMEA's share of installations will fall from 81% in 2010 to 68% in 2011. The report that three of the top five PV growth markets for 2011 are in Asia and only one in Europe, compounding Europe's decline in share.

As well as large regional variations, the report also predicts that PV demand will vary considerably by installation size, with utility-scale systems over 5 MW forecast to grow by nearly 50% in 2011, while installations between 10 and 100kW stay flat.

IMS Research's long-term outlook for the industry remains encouraging, with demand diversifying outside the ‘usual’ two or three key countries and predicts that at least 34 countries will install more than 100 MW in 2015, up from just 13 last year.

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