Ingmar Wilhelm (Enel) elected as new President of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA)

Gathered together in Rome on the occasion of its Annual General Meeting, the members of the largest photovoltaic (PV) industry association worldwide have elected their new Board of Directors.

Ingmar Wilhelm, Executive Vice-President of Enel Green Power, elected as President

Ingmar Wilhelm’s professional experience lies in the energy and the telecommunications industry. Throughout the past 20 years, he has been engaged in developing, mostly in a multi-cultural environment, new businesses targeting many European countries both in the East and West. During the past two years he concentrated on the development of renewable energies for multiple technologies in different market and regulatory environments.

Today, Ingmar Wilhelm is leading Business Development of Enel Green Power. Enel Green Power’s mission is to develop, manage and optimise the generation of energy from renewable sources for the Enel group worldwide. He arrived in Enel in 2003 and was responsible for the origination and trading of power in Europe. From 2006 onwards, he managed sales, marketing and supply of power and gas in the liberalised Italian energy market, with responsibility for a portfolio of over 5 million clients.

Prior to his time at Enel, he worked for over twelve years with utilities based in Germany and in France, in particular in the area of business development both in the energy and the telecommunications market. Ingmar Wilhelm graduated in electrical engineering at the Technical University RWTH Aachen, Germany, with specialisation in energy economics.

“The association is celebrating this year its 25th anniversary. Let’s open now the second chapter of EPIA’s history and further propel PV as the electricity source of choice for ever more citizens in Europe” Wilhelm said to the Assembly.

Winfried Hoffmann, Boris Klebensberger and Virgilio Navarro Sanchez-Sicilia elected as Vice-Presidents

The President of EPIA since 2006, Winfried Hoffmann, Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer of Energy and Environmental Solutions of Applied Materials GmbH & Co. KG, has been elected as 1st Vice-President. Boris Klebensberger, Chief Operation Officer of SolarWorld AG, and Virgilio Navarro Sanchez-Sicilia, CEO of ATERSA – Aplicaciones Tecnicas de la Energia SL, have been elected as Vice-Presidents.

Murray Cameron, Fabrice Didier, Michael Harre and Marko Werner elected as Directors

Murray Cameron, Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix Solar AG, Fabrice Didier, Chief Executive Officer of Saint-Gobain Solar, Michael Harre, Chief Sales Officer of Schott Solar GmbH, and Marko Werner, Chief Sales Officer of SMA Solar Technology AG have been elected as Directors of the Board.

With over 200 Members drawn from across the entire solar PV sector, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association is the world’s largest photovoltaic industry association and represents about 95% of the European photovoltaic industry. EPIA members are present throughout the whole value-chain: from silicon, cells and module production to systems development and PV electricity generation as well as marketing and sales. EPIA’s mission is to deliver a distinct and valuable service driven from the strength of a single photovoltaic voice.

Solar PV market hits 43 GW record in 2009

Solar photovoltaic installations has achieved record high of 6.43 GW in 2009—a 6 percent y-on-y growth, according to the latest Marketbuzz 2010 Report from Solarbuzz, an international solar energy market research and consulting company, and a division of The NPD Group. In addition, the company reported that the PV industry generated $38 billion in global revenues in 2009, while successfully raising more than $13.5 billion in equity and debt, up 8 percent on the prior year.

According to the company’s Marketbuzz 2010 Report, European countries accounted for 4.75 GW, or 74 percent 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, Spain demand in 2009 collapsed to just 4 percent of its prior year level. The third largest market in the world was the United States, which grew 36 percent to 485 MW. Following closely behind was a rejuvenated Japan, ranked fourth and growing 109 percent y-on-y.

Worldwide solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 9.34 GW in 2009, up from 6.85GW a year earlier, with thin film production accounting for 18 percent of that total. China and Taiwan production continued to build share and now accounts for 49 percent of global cell production. Of total European demand, net cell imports accounted for 74 percent of the total.

The top seven polysilicon manufacturers had 114,500 tons per annum of capacity in 2009, up 92 percent y-on-y, while the top eight wafer manufacturers accounted for 32.9 percent of global wafer capacity in 2009.

Solar cell production exceeding the market demand caused the weighted crystalline silicon module price average for 2009 to crash 38 percent from 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 over the next five years. Even in the slowest growth scenario, the global market will be 2.5x its current size by 2014. Using the fastest growth forecast, annual industry revenues would approach $100 billion by 2014.

"Industry performance in 2009 was remarkable in that it managed to more than fully replace the 2.3 GW demand gap caused by the change in policy in Spain," remarked Craig Stevens, president of Solarbuzz. "Looking forward, the industry will see a return to high growth, but in a low margin environment. Our analysis demonstrates that a wide range of start-up markets will help offset a slowdown in German demand in the second half of 2010."