The global solar photovoltaic (PV) market grew 24% to 37 GW in 2013, according to preliminary figures released by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA, Brussels). This brings the world to nearly 137 GW of installed PV at the end of the year.
EPIA estimates that China installed the most PV at 11.3 GW, followed by 6.9 GW in Japan and 4.8 GW in the United States. Europe’s PV market contracted for a second year, falling 43% to only 10 GW.
“In a number of European countries, harsh support reduction, retrospective measures and unplanned changes to regulatory frameworks that badly affect investors’ confidence and PV investments viability have led to a significant market decrease,” said EPIA Head of Business Intelligence Gaëtan Masson.
EPIA notes that despite a decline in political support in Europe, feed-in tariffs in China and Japan have led to fast-growing markets in those nations.
Germany remained the largest European market at 3.3 GW despite installations falling by more than 50%. Four other nations installed around 1 GW: Italy at 1.1-1.4 GW, the UK at 1-1.2 GW, Romania with 1.1 GW and Greece at 1.04 GW.
EPIA notes a decline in PV markets in Belgium, France and Denmark due to policy changes. However, it also notes that outside Germany and Italy the continent’s PV market has remained around 6 GW annually from 2011 through 2013.
PV remained the second-largest source of new generation in Europe after wind in 2013, and now meets 3% of European electricity demand and 6% of peak demand.
EPIA also notes the growth of Asian markets outside China and Japan, with India installed 1.1 GW, South Korea adding 442 MW and Thailand installing 317 MW.