Photovoltaic industry revenues sees strong growth, says EPIC report

Aug. 8, 2012
Paris, France -- Photovoltaic industry revenues reached a record $US 93 billion in 2011, a 13.4% increase over $US 82 billion in 2010, and a 150% increase over revenues in 2009.

Paris, France -- Photovoltaic industry revenues reached a record $US 93 billion in 2011, a 13.4% increase over $US 82 billion in 2010, and a 150% increase over revenues in 2009. World-wide, 27.4 Gwatts of PV were installed, bringing cumulative PV electrical generation capacity to 68 Gwatts at the end of 2011. Data from the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) Photovoltaic Report shows that installations grew by 56% compared to 2010. Europe remains the leader for deployment, accounting for more than 63% of the PV installations world-wide. About 27% of all the installations world-wide took place in Germany. These percentage figures are lower than those for 2010, and they indicate the growing importance of PV markets outside of Europe, particularly in China.

In Europe, 41 Gwatts of electrical generation capacity from all sources were installed in 2011. This can be compared to 57.6 Gwatts in 2010. This decrease is due in part to the economic recession which strengthened in Europe throughout the year. For the first time ever, more PV generating power was installed in Europe than any other energy source, surpassing both natural gas and wind turbine generation. New European PV at 17.3 Gwatts out-paced natural gas installations by 58%. However on a world-wide basis, wind power remains the dominant new renewable energy source with installations of over 40 Gwatts in 2011. By 2011, the cumulative installed PV generating base reached 68 Gwatts. By comparison, this represents about 28% of the installed wind base of 238 Gwatts.

In terms of production, 7.6% more wattage of PV cells was manufactured than generating capacity installed (29.5 Gwatts compared to 27.4 Gwatts). Inventories at the end of 2011 amounted to less than 1 month. PV production volume is now dominated by manufacturing in Asia where China and Taiwan now account for about 74% of the world supply. Production by European companies declined sharply in 2011 to less that 6% of the global total. Because many of the remaining companies manufacture some of their products in Asia, the actual amount of manufacturing activity in Europe is even less significant.

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About the Author

Kellie Chadwick | Editorial Intern

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