Germany’s installed power generation capacity from photovoltaic solar power facilities increased by more than 60% in 2009, the Bundesnetzagentur–the country’s network regulator–said Friday, citing preliminary statistics.
"According to the available data there were considerable new installations of solar energy facilities," in 2009, said the regulator’s president Matthias Kurth in a written statement.
Installed photovoltaic solar energy generation capacity increased to 9.8 gigawatt in 2009 from around 6 GW a year earlier, Kurth added.
The degree of new installations was particularly high in the last three months of the year, the regulator said. From October to December last year newly installed generation capacity from photovoltaic solar energy facilities was around 2.3 GW, the Bundesnetzagentur said. In the January to September period new installations had a capacity of around 1.5 GW, it added.
The Bundesnetzagentur is the government authority that monitors new installations of photovoltaic solar energy facilities and sets subsidy levels via feed-in tariffs that guarantee minimum prices for the electricity these facilities generate.
The EPIA said that 6.4 GW of newly installed capacity was achieved in 2009, reaching a total capacity of over 20 GW worldwide. Although this was hailed as being the most important annual capacity increase ever, due in part to the economic recession, 2010 is expected to see installations increase by at least 40%, while the annual growth is expected to increase by more than 15%.
Germany was the world’s largest PV market in 2009 and according to the EPIA is likely to remain so again in 2010. Italy was noted as becoming the second largest market in Europe with an expected 700 MW and more installed in 2009. Continued support for PV in Italy and the grid parity factor is expected to keep Italy at the forefront of installations.
The Czech Republic also showed strong growth 2009 with 411MW installed. However, the EPIA acknowledge problems in support for solar from the Czech government and expects the market to decline in 2011, but remain in growth mode in 2010.
"This underlines the imperative need for support mechanisms to be designed in a way to ensure a long term, predictable and sustainable development of the market and avoid instability and discontinuity in market evolution" explains Adel El Gammal, Secretary General of EPIA.
Other European countries also saw PV installation growth in 2009. The EPIA noted that Belgium installed 292 MW, France followed with 185 MW, with another 100 MW installed but not grid connected.
Spain, once the largest market in 2008, saw installations of only 60 MW in 2009. Installations in Japan reached 484 MW, the third largest market. Close behind was the U.S. with installations reaching 475 MW, in 2009. The EPIA also noted promising markets in Canada, China and as well as the potential of Brazil, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa.
Based on its moderate and policy driven scenarios, the global PV market could reach between 8.2 (40% growth) and 12.7 GW (60% growth) of new installations in 2010, respectively. Looking further out, the EPIA noted that under a sustained policy driven scenario, the PV market could reach up to 30 GW in 2014.