European countries accounted for 4.75 GW, or 74% of world demand in 2009. The top three countries in Europe were Germany, Italy and Czech Republic, which collectively accounted for 4.07 GW. All three countries experienced soaring demand, with Italy becoming the second largest market in the world.
In contrast, Spanish demand in 2009 collapsed to just 4% of its prior year level.
Of total European demand, net solar cell imports accounted for 74% of the total.
The third largest market in the world was the United States, which grew 36% to 485 MW. Following closely behind was a rejuvenated Japan, which took fourth spot, growing 109%.
The analysis in the new Marketbuzz 2010 report references 112 countries across the world in 2009.
World solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 9.34 GW in 2009, up from 6.85 GW a year earlier, with thin film production accounting for 18% of that total. China and Taiwanese production continued to build share and now account for 49% of global cell production.
The Top 7 polysilicon manufacturers had 114,500 tonnes per annum of capacity in 2009, up 92% on their 2008 level, while the Top 8 wafer manufacturers accounted for 32.9% of global wafer capacity in 2009.
The excess of solar cell production over market demand caused weighted crystalline silicon module price average for 2009 to crash 38% over 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 also over the next 5 years. Even in the slowest growth scenario, the global market will be 2.5 times its current size by 2014. Under the Production Led scenario, the fastest growing forecast, annual industry revenues approach $100 billion by 2014.
After providing a comprehensive look back at 2009 industry results, the new Marketbuzz™ 2010 report devotes one third of its content to 2010 – 2014 forecast outcomes, including a thorough preview of market developments, policies, prices and production requirements, which will be essential to help shape corporate strategies over this period. Manufacturing costs, gross margins and capital expenditure profiles are also addressed.