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European Solar Photovoltaic Market Faces Instability
Jul 16, 2010
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Mid-2010 incentive tariff reductions in Germany and lower module pricing that emerged in 2009 both had an impact on the pace of the European solar photovoltaic (PV) market in the first half of 2010, according to market research firm Solarbuzz.

In 2009 the German PV market reached 3.87 GW, for growth of 109%. Private residential PV systems were 13% of the market.

Italy became the world’s second largest PV market with 770 MW newly installed capacity. The Czech Republic, France, and Belgium, combined, added 933 MW of newly installed capacity in 2009.

Spain's PV slowdown had a huge impact on European market results overall.
Factoring in Spain, growth of the total European market was just 16% in 2009. Excluding Spain, growth was 126%. Solarbuzz said this highlights the vulnerability of the overall market to policy changes in larger markets balanced against the growth of emerging markets.

The firm noted that PV in Europe went from boom to bust and back to boom within two years, from Spain's downturn in 2008 to Germany's current surge. On that basis, the firm said, few would project stability over the next five years. Further incentive cuts in major markets "now hangs over the PV industry some 21 months on from the start of the debacle that has turned the Spanish market from leader to laggard," thre firm said.

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