PV still leading renewable energy technology in 2010

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has released new figures that will be included in its EPIA Global Market Outlook until 2015 showing that solar photovoltaic power (PV) was the leading renewable energy technology in terms of new capacity growth by almost 13,000 MW in Europe, producing the same amount of electricity as two large coal-fired power plants.
PV still leading renewable energy technology in 2010

The headline figures released by EPIA will form part of detailed market analysis and the industry's forecasts for the next four years which will be presented at the upcoming EPIA Market Workshop the day after its General Meeting on 17 of this month. EPIA’s research finds that at the end of 2010, the cumulative installed capacity of PV in the EU amounted to more than 28,000 MW, with an energy output that equals the electricity consumption of around 10 million households in Europe.

“The growth of PV has simply been impressive in 2010. Decreasing cost, new applications, strong investor interest and continued political support have contributed to this development, making PV the number one green technology in terms of capacity addition in Europe”, said Ingmar Wilhelm, EPIA President. “PV has become an established technology, which is contributing to the progressive decarbonisation of our energy mix and which should be further exploited by Member States to reach their 2020 renewable targets”, he continued. "More than 70 percent of all new installations come from small and medium-sized PV systems. PV is in fact the people's choice in renewable technologies as they can participate directly and contribute personally to a better environment", he added.

Germany still leader

For the second year in a row, Germany has been the global PV market leader, adding over 6,500 MW of new installations to the already existing 9,800 MW of PV systems. For the first time, the yearly installations in Italy and Czech Republic surpassed 1,000 MW. These countries were followed by Belgium, France and Spain, all of which saw very significant volumes in 2010.

“Supportive policy measures for the further roll-out of PV should continue to play their important roles in the years to come. It will therefore be crucial to design coherent national roadmaps for the development of PV on the way to achieving full competitiveness as soon as possible. Regular, necessary adjustments to the regulatory framework should be announced in due advance and administrative procedures should be simple and transparent”, said Eleni Despotou, EPIA’s acting Secretary General. “These would benefit the predictability of any investment decision and bring substantial cost savings at the same time”, she concluded.

According to the latest EPIA estimates, over 3,000 MW of new PV installations were outside Europe in the year 2010. The main contributors come from Japan, where almost 1,000 MW were installed, followed by the US and China. The data also show that, despite the huge PV potential especially in the Sunbelt countries, lack of political support still hampers the growth of these markets.

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