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Three-quarters of new solar systems worldwide were installed in the EU in 2009
Date:9/7/2010

Second in the PV growth ranking was Italy with 0.73 GW (cumulative 1.2 GW), followed by Japan: 0.48 GW (2.6 GW), the US: 0.46 GW (1.65 GW), the Czech Republic: 0.41 GW (0.46 GW) and Belgium: 0.3 GW (0.36 GW).

However, the PV market is still incipient. In the EU, only 0.4% of total supplied electricity came from PV in 2009. In the world, this percentage is a mere 0.1%.

Production of PV cells

When it comes to the production of PV cells, the report estimates that this has increased worldwide to 11.5 GW in 2009 (56% up from 2008). In the EU, it remained at 2 GW (1.9 GW in 2008).

Leaders in this field were China with 4.4 GW in 2009 as compared to 2.4 GW in 2008, Taiwan (1.6 GW and 0.8 GW respectively) and Malaysia, whose production grew from 0.16 GW to 0.72 GW.

A significant number of players announced a reduction or cancellation of their plans to expand PV production worldwide in 2008 and 2009. Nevertheless, the shortfall appears to have been compensated, even exceeded, by new entrants into the field notably large semiconductor or energy-related companies.

Dramatic price reduction in solar modules

A special feature shown in 2009 is the fact that changes in the market - which has moved from a supply- to a demand-driven logic - and the resulting over capacity for solar modules have caused a dramatic price reduction of almost 50% over 2 years, with an average selling price of less than 1.5 per Watt.

Other key findings of the report

  • Wafer-based silicon is still the main technology for solar cells and represented 80% of the market share in 2009.
  • The market share of thin-film solar products has increased from 6% in 2005 and 10% in 2007 to 16-20% in 2009.
  • Concentrating photovoltaics (which uses lenses to concentrate sunlight on to photovoltaic cells) is an emerging technology growing at a fast pace, although from a low starting point.
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Contact: Elena Gonzalez Verdesoto
elena.gonzalez-verdesoto@ec.europa.eu
322-299-9862
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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