Solar PV markets see “record growth”

Solar photovoltaic markets saw record growth in 2011, according to new figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). The new report called ‘Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics Until 2016’ […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Solar photovoltaic markets saw record growth in 2011, according to new figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).

The new report called ‘Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics Until 2016’ shows 29.7 GW of solar power was connected to the grid in 2011, up from 16.8 GW in 2010.

Solar is now the third most important renewable energy source after hydro and wind power, with roughly 70 GW cumulative global installations, according to the report.

Dr Winfried Hoffmann, EPIA’s President said: “The PV industry is now weathering a period of uncertainty in the short-term. But over the medium- and long-terms the prospects for continued robust growth are good. The results of 2011 – and indeed the outlook for the next several years – show that under the right policy conditions PV can continue its progress towards competitiveness in key electricity markets and become a mainstream energy source.”

Such a rapid growth rate cannot be expected to last forever, however, say the report’s authors.