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IMS forecast: PV installations to reach 20.5GW in 2011

Posted: 20 Jan 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PV installation? IMS forecast? solar power?

IMS Research estimates that new PV installations grew by 130 percent to reach 17.5GW in 2010, confirming the firm's earlier prediction back in Q3 10 that newly added global capacity would hit 17GW. Furthermore, the company's new report predicts that installations will see double-digit growth in 2011, to reach 20.5GW and take the total installed capacity to 58GW by the end of the year.

Despite other market forecasters revising predictions for 2010, IMS Research has in fact left its estimates for 2010 largely unchanged from its previous prediction two quarters ago, but has raised its outlook for 2011 following its latest round of research and surveys, which identified that at least 22 countries will each install more than 50MW this year; 18 of them will install at least 100MW; and four at least 1GW. Reduction in demand in Germany and, of course, the Czech Republic will restrain global growth in 2011, but will speed PV component price reduction and help to accelerate growth elsewhere.

New installations of 17GW is somewhat higher than most analysts, banks and major suppliers estimated for 2010; however, IMS Research believes most of the discrepancy can be attributed to Italy; where many others expecting only around 1GW to have been installed.

IMS Research is certainly more bullish than most on installations in Italy last year; and estimates that new capacity was in fact closer to 3GW, based on its extensive research of the supply chain and system developers. The actual figure will not be confirmed for least another quarter, whilst regulators deal with the tens of thousands of grid-connection applications received in the final months of the year.

Positive forecast

IMS Research's PV Research Director, Ash Sharma confirmed these results and the positive forecast for this year, "20GW is a huge number for 2011, and would be a tremendous achievement, which I'm sure most would have thought impossible just two or three years ago. Having measured the PV supply chain at several points, our PV analyst team remains very upbeat about the market's development this year; and even more so about the next two to three years. Our latest models predict installations of 35GW in 2014 which certainly now looks achievable."

Because of the decline in new installations in Germany and the Czech Republic, IMS Research predicts EMEA's share of installations will fall from 81percent in 2010 to 68 percent in 2011, despite high growth still being seen in many large markets such as Italy, as well as in emerging countries like the UK, Greece and Bulgaria. The recent report from IMS Research, which identified its top five PV growth markets for 2011, revealed that only one of these is in Europe; three are in Asia, compounding Europe's decline in share.

As well as large regional variations, the report also predicts that PV demand will vary considerably by installation size, with utility-scale systems over 5MW forecast to grow by nearly 50 percent in 2011, whilst installations between 10 and 100kW expected to stay flatlargely because of the situation in Germany.

IMS Research's long-term outlook for the industry remains encouraging, with demand diversifying outside the usual two or three key countries and predicts that at least 34 countries will install more than 100MW in 2015, up from just 13 last year.

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