Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spain Leads Global Market with 2.51 GW in 2008

Spain led the global market for solar in 2008, with 2.51 gigawatts installed that year alone, according to a report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).

About 5.5 GW was installed globally in 2008, reaching a total of 15 GW at the end of the year. Just 2.4 GW was installed in 2007.

After Spain, the countries with the most solar installation in 2008 were:

  • Germany with 1.5 GW
  • United States with 342 MW
  • South Korea with 274 MW
  • Italy with 258 MW
  • Japan with 230 MW
  • Czech Republic with 51 MW
  • Portugal with 50 MW
  • Belgium with 48 MW
  • France with 46 MW

The dominance of European countries on the list cemented the EU’s leading role in the solar PV sector, the EPIA said. But whether that remains is dependent on the success of government incentives, the group said.

The EPIA forecast 7 GW of installed capacity to be added in 2009 but noted high uncertainties. In September, Spain scaled back its feed-in tariff and set a 500 MW cap on its solar incentives, which could severely limit demand there (see Extra solar panels in Spain driving down prices).

However, the governments of the U.S., Germany, France and Italy have established favorable policies that is expected to accelerate PV deployment, the EPIA said. Late in 2008, the U.S. extended tax incentives for renewable energy (see Solar takes stock after tax-credit battle). Italy recently established a 20-year feed-in tariff of €0.44 to €0.49 per kilowatt hour (see ET Solar to sell modules to Italy).

The EPIA said feed-in tariffs could bump installed capacity to 22 GW by 2013.

A JP Morgan report last year said South Korea is going to be one of the fastest growing solar markets during the next four years, potentially growing power generating capacity 89 percent to nearly 1 gigawatt from solar (see S. Korea plans $72M for renewable energy).

See the original article here

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