Southern Europe photovoltaic markets to help global industry back to growth

Meanwhile, southern Europe’s long-term growth prospects, with 38 GW of new projects expected by 2020 are expected to help pull the global PV industry out of its current slump, according to a new study from Emerging Energy Research.

Southern Europe is expected to account for approximately 25% of 2009 additions in Europe behind Germany, the leading European PV market at 67%. In Domino-like fashion, PV development is scaling across southern Europe, with 47 GW of capacity forecasted through 2020, significant growth from the 9 GW installed to date. Central to the surge is increased regulatory clarity regarding feed-in tariffs (FITs), long-term national targets dedicated to PV, and volatile electricity prices, according to EER’s new study.

Newfound interest in PV by established European utilities and independent power producers is lending greater credibility to southern Europe’s PV sector. "Increasing utility involvement, more focus on rooftop systems, the importance of a stable incentive regime, and clear and easy permitting are key to long-term growth of southern Europe’s PV sector," says EER Solar Research Director Reese Tisdale.

EER projects Italy to be the strongest of the southern European markets in the near term. "Italy’s robust FIT has ignited the Italian PV market and attracted significant attention from players along the supply chain," says Tisdale.

Alongside Italy, clear regulatory initiatives in France are rapidly aligning to turn France into one of the more stable markets in Europe. France is transitioning from a relatively inactive market, with 128 MW of installed capacity as of June 2009, to one that may surpass 800 MW per year by 2012.

Spain, the largest PV market globally in 2008 with 2.8 GW installed, will fall back to a more pedestrian 125 MW in 2009.

EER’s 252-page study, Southern Europe Solar PV Markets and Strategies: 2009-2020 , released in December 2009, addresses the key factors driving solar PV penetration across Southern Europe and the players responsible for shaping PV’s competitive landscape.

Emerging Energy Research is the leading provider of analysis on clean and renewable energy markets.