Solar photovoltaic installations has achieved record high of 6.43GW in 2009

Solar photovoltaic installations has achieved record high of 6.43GW in 2009—a 6 per cent y-on-y growth, according to the latest Marketbuzz 2010 Report from Solarbuzz, an international solar energy market research and consulting company, and a division of The NPD Group. In addition, the company reported that the PV industry generated Rs.1,75,472.60 crore ($38 billion) in global revenues in 2009, while successfully raising more than Rs.62,338.95 crore ($13.5 billion) in equity and debt, up 8 per cent on the prior year.

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According to the company’s Marketbuzz 2010 Report, European countries accounted for 4.75GW, or 74 per cent of world demand in 2009. The top three countries in Europe were Germany, Italy and Czech Republic, which collectively accounted for 4.07GW. All three countries experienced soaring demand with Italy becoming the second largest market in the world. In contrast, Spain demand in 2009 collapsed to just 4 per cent of its prior year level. The third largest market in the world was the United States, which grew 36 per cent to 485MW. Following closely behind was a rejuvenated Japan, ranked fourth and growing 109 per cent y-on-y.

Worldwide solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 9.34GW in 2009, up from 6.85GW a year earlier, with thin film production accounting for 18 per cent of that total. China and Taiwan production continued to build share and now accounts for 49 per cent of global cell production. Of total European demand, net cell imports accounted for 74 per cent of the total.

The top seven polysilicon manufacturers had 114,500 tons per annum of capacity in 2009, up 92 per cent y-on-y, while the top eight wafer manufacturers accounted for 32.9 per cent of global wafer capacity in 2009.

Solar cell production exceeding the market demand caused the weighted crystalline silicon module price average for 2009 to crash 38 per cent from the prior year level. This reduction in crystalline silicon prices also had the effect of eroding their percentage premium to thin film factory gate pricing.

Looking forward, the industry will return to high growth in 2010 and over the next five years. Even in the slowest growth scenario, the global market will be 2.5x its current size by 2014. Using the fastest growth forecast, annual industry revenues would approach Rs.461,770.00 crore ($100 billion) by 2014.

“Industry performance in 2009 was remarkable in that it managed to more than fully replace the 2.3GW demand gap caused by the change in policy in Spain,” remarked Craig Stevens, president of Solarbuzz. “Looking forward, the industry will see a return to high growth, but in a low margin environment. Our analysis demonstrates that a wide range of start-up markets will help offset a slowdown in German demand in the second half of 2010.”

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