Italy Set to Become Leader in Solar PV Market

Italy looks set to overtake current world leader Germany in the solar photovoltaic installation stakes, according to a report from analyst SolarPlaza.

The first half of 2011 has seen the country install three times the volume of Germany, which means Italy has the potential to oust the global solar PV champion from its top perch. Last year, Germany cemented its reign by installing 7,390,922 kW of new solar PV installations, which accounted for 50% of the worldwide market. With 2,319,000 kW of solar power, Italy came trailing far behind in second place.

However it’s a different story twelve months on. While Germany has cut its feed-in tariffs (Fits) by 13% – resulting in a 40% fall in market volume – compared to the same period in 2010 – there seems to be a definite shift in the list of top 10 solar PV markets.  SolarPlaza is predicting that while Japan’s focus on solar energy following its nuclear disaster in March will have a significant effect, thanks to drastic cuts in solar incentives the Czech Republic is likely to fall out of the top 10 in 2011.

According to SolarPlaza, the likes of India, the Middle East and China look set to become major plays in solar PV, with Canada, South Africa and the Philippines seen as emerging markets for solar power.

The 2010 top 10 list, in terms of capacity installed (kW):

Germany 7,390,922
Italy 2,319,000
Czech Republic 1,151,000
Japan 990,979
USA 918,000
France 719,000
China 400,000
Spain 392,000
Australia 383,300
Belgium 357,860

So what will the market look like in a few years down the road? Of course, market dynamics are unpredictable. After all, Spain was the world’s biggest PV market in 2009, but its bubble burst in 2009. But hot on the heels of its countdown of the top 10 solar PV markets in 2010, SolarPlaza has attempted to predict what the market could look like in 2014.

The 2014 top 10 list, in terms of capacity installed (MW), as predicted by SolarPlaza:

Germany 6,500
Italy 5500
USA 4,500
Japan 3,300
India 3,000
China 2,000
Australia 1,400
France 1,100
Spain 800
Greece 750

As to their predictions, only time will tell.

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