Global Solar Photovoltaic Demand Forecast To Reach 20.4 GW in 2011; Growth Rate Drops to 25%

Thu, 12/16/2010 - 3:21am
General Electric

San Francisco, Calif. December 16, 2010Global photovoltaic demand was 4.0 GW in Q310 up 107% on one year earlier, according to Solarbuzz®, an international solar energy market research and consulting company.  Total industry revenues for the quarter were $17.9 billion, up 74% on the same quarter last year.

Figure 1: End-Market Revenues

Source: Solarbuzz Quarterly

According to the Solarbuzz Quarterly report, 10.6 GW of photovoltaics were installed in the first nine months of 2010, charting a course for a record year. As a result, Solarbuzz has increased its 2010 forecast to 16.3 GW for 2010, an outcome that would represent 117% growth on 2009.

In its latest Solarbuzz Quarterly report, Solarbuzz also reported Chinese manufacturers accounted for 51% of global shipments in Q310, up from 47% in the same quarter one year earlier. Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers took 8 out of the top 12 cell manufacturer positions.

China-based JA Solar captured the lead in solar cell shipments with an 8% market share in Q310, with Suntech Power and First Solar taking second and third positions, respectively.

Figure 2: Q310 Top Twelve Solar Cell Manufacturers by Shipments (MW)

Source: Solarbuzz Quarterly

Looking ahead, Solarbuzz forecasts a global PV market of 20.4 GW in 2011, as policy changes in Germany and Czech Republic take effect at the beginning of 2011. These will dramatically slow the industrys growth rate next year.

The large price reductions of 2009 created the platform for spectacular growth in 2010, noted Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz. However, manufacturers plan strong capacity and shipment growth in 2011.  This will encourage prices to drop, but they will need to fall further than incentive tariffs in key world markets to maintain strong growth next year.

The latest data-driven Solarbuzz Quarterly report brings together a comprehensive analysis of industry production, shipments, inventory, market demand and the total price picture. The report also includes corporate data for leading company quarterly cell production and company data through the PV chain with financial indicators. For more information or to order Solarbuzz regional reports, contact us at our seven global locations, email us at, or call 1.516.625.2452.

Solarbuzz and Marketbuzz are registered trademarks of The NPD Group.



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