PV Rocketed In 2010, And Forecast Looks Good

Last year was an exceptionally good one for the global solar photovoltaic market, and even amid the slowdown in capital markets around the world, experts expect future price reductions, coupled with rising retail electricity prices and stringent environmental compliance requirements, to continue to drive growth.

In order to better understand the trend, IDC Energy Insights’ Worldwide Quarterly Photovoltaic Module Tracker went straight to the source: PV module shipments. According to IDC’s latest estimates, worldwide shipments of PV modules experienced record growth in 2010,  increasing by nearly 160 percent over 2009 to 21.6 gigawatts (GW). IDC expects the global PV industry to stabilize in 2011. However, due to recent changes to Italy’s feed-in tariff program, aggressive targets in India and China and increased renewable energy targets in many promising markets, shipments are expected to reach 30 GW by 2015, with significant growth occurring in Asia and the United States.

PV growth forecast

image via Shutterstock

The report finds that PV shipments to the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and U.S. markets accounted for 9.3 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, of the market in 2010. By 2015, Asia/Pacific is expected to grow to 25.6 percent of the market and the United States to 17.5 percent as the focus shifts from European markets.

“The Ontario market remains strong in North America, and, while an extension of the Section 1603 tax grant program in the U.S. appears unlikely in the current political climate, property assessed clean energy programs may return to supplement existing state and local incentive programs,” said Dean Chuang, senior research analyst at IDC.

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).