1,460MW of Photovoltaic Power Installed in 2005

March 19, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

World solar photovoltaic (PV) market installations reached a record high of 1,460 Megawatts (MW) in 2005, representing annual growth of 34%, says the annual PV market report issued today by Solarbuzz LLC.

Germany's PV market grew 53% to 837 Megawatts in 2005, corresponding to 57% of the world market. This level is eight times the size of the United States market. Japan's 14% growth took it to 292 MW. Solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 1,656 MW in 2005, up from 1,146 MW. Japanese producers maintained their leadership with 46% share, while Europe accounted for 28%. US cell production was 156 MW in 2005.

"Cumulative installed solar PV electricity generating capacity expanded by 39% in 2005 and now exceeds 5 Gigawatts worldwide and investment in new plant to manufacture solar cells exceeded $1 billion in 2005," said Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz LLC. "Meanwhile, the PV industry raised more than $1.8 billion on capital markets over the past 12 months."

Despite a rise of 12% in silicon feedstock capacity, tight supply caused long-term polysilicon contract prices to increase by up to 25%. The on-going capacity shortfall will restrict world PV market growth to just 10% in 2006.

Solarbuzz market demand forecast scenarios show worldwide industry revenues will reach $18.6 to $23.1 billion with annual PV installations between 3.2 and 3.9 Gigawatts in 2010.

Stevens concluded, "As the rate of increase in German demand is set to moderate, Southern Europe has become the new target for rapid market development."