Demand for Photovoltaic (PV) installations in 2010 is increasing thanks to an improving macroeconomic situation and rapidly declining prices for systems, according to iSuppli Corp.
However, at the same time, new, unplanned downward adjustments to Feed-In-Tariffs (FITs) are causing a great deal of uncertainty in some markets, especially the world’s largest PV region, Germany.
iSuppli revised its 2010 forecast for worldwide solar installations to 8.3 Gigawatts (GW), down from 8.6GW before in light of the 5 percent decline in installations that happened in 2009. Still, at 8.3GW, this will represent a 63 percent annual growth rate year-over-year.
This growth has PV manufacturers excited for a year when revenue growth will return and worldwide adoption of solar systems begins once again to head in the right direction. In fact, iSuppli forecasts that by 2013, solar system installations will reach 28.5GW, expanding at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32.1 percent from 5.3GW in 2008.
Part of the reason for the adjustment to the forecast is that iSuppli predicts the German PV market, which accounted for 51 percent of global demand in 2009, will install only 2.9GW of solar systems, rather than the 3.4GW originally forecasted for the region in 2010.
Luckily, the Czech Republic will compensate for part of this reduction as it will install 460 Megawatts (MW) of solar systems, up from the 85MW originally forecasted for 2010.
The Czech Republic, along with China, France, Italy and the United States, will represent the bulk of the global demand increase in 2010 as the installation growth this year will come from outside of Germany.
This is actually good news for PV players that see the market diversifying beyond Germany and into these other countries. As a result, companies that wish to continue to grow at market rates need to be nimble and follow this business by investing appropriately in local sales and supply chain resources.