The global solar photovoltaic market could reach 14.6 GW in 2010

Solar PV Research Director, Ash Sharma, says: “Basing our forecast on inverter production is incredibly important this year as it’s well documented that inverter supply is limiting the PV market to a massive extent. Although demand may be higher than this 14.6 GW, if customers are not able to secure inverters then installations will not be completed.

IMS expects installs to reach 14.6 GW, a 95% increase from 2009 and nearly three times size of the market back in 2008. “Despite the strong underlying demand, we did however uncover a significant amount of double-ordering occurring as customers scramble to secure inverters. It’s possible we may see a large number of orders cancelled in 2H’10 or excess inventory in the supply chain,” Sharma adds.

Germany is the main driver and is predicted to account for an even greater proportion – some 47% of new solar PV capacity.

Trouble may be looming ahead, Sharma warns, however: “In 2010, the top three markets – Germany, Italy and Czech Republic are predicted to install a combined 9.8 GW of new PV capacity. However, due to changes in incentive schemes and new regulations, this total is predicted to fall considerably in 2011 and new markets will need to pick up the shortfall”.

Whilst at the end of 2008, when the Spanish market collapsed and solar PV prices went into freefall, IMS Research is predicting a more gradual slowdown in growth at the end of this year and some softening of solar PV module prices in Q1’11.

Despite very high demand coming from EMEA (which in 2010 will have three GW), its share of the global market is predicted to fall slightly to 78% in 2010 as emerging markets in Asia and North America take off.