Similarly to previous years, this shows the EU's dominance, where more than three quarters of the world's new solar systems were installed. By the end of 2009, Europe's cumulative installed PV electricity generation capacity (existing and newly installed) was 16 GW, which is about 70% of the world's total (22GW). These are just some of the findings of the ninth annual Photovoltaics Status Report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The study, carried out by the JRC's Institute for Energy (IE), summarises and evaluates the results of a survey of more than 300 companies worldwide. It looks at the photovoltaic market and industry worldwide with special attention to the EU, India, Japan, China, Taiwan and the United States, providing a final outlook on the topic. It also provides an overview of current activities in research, manufacturing and market implementation in this sector. However, data from 2009 may have a higher uncertainty than usual, mostly due to the difficult market situation and a decreased willingness of companies to report confidential data.
Growth in European PV generating capacity
It is estimated that one GW of PV electricity generation capacity provides enough electricity for about 250,000 European households during one year. In the EU in 2009, 27.5 GW of new power capacity was constructed. About 21% (5.8 GW, up from 5.1 GW in 2008) of this was PV based.
Most of the EU's growth that year occurred in Germany (3.8 GW, reaching a cumulative value of 9.8 GW), where in the 4th quarter, some 2.3 GW were connected to the grid. In fact, Germany ranks first in the world for cumulative installed capacity (9.8 GW), followed by Spain (3.5 GW) (fig.1), thanks to the renewable energy legislation in these countries.
Second in the PV growth ranking was Italy with 0.73 GW (cumulative 1.2 GW), followed by Japan: 0.48 GW (2.6 GW), the US: 0.46 GW (1.65 GW), the Czech Republic: 0.41 GW (0.46 GW) and Belgium: 0.3 GW (0.36 GW).
However, the PV market is still incipient. In the EU, only 0.4% of total supplied electricity came from PV in 2009. In the world, this percentage is a mere 0.1%.
Production of PV cells
When it comes to the production of PV cells, the report estimates that this has increased worldwide to 11.5 GW in 2009 (56% up from 2008). In the EU, it remained at 2 GW (1.9 GW in 2008).
Leaders in this field were China with 4.4 GW in 2009 as compared to 2.4 GW in 2008, Taiwan (1.6 GW and 0.8 GW respectively) and Malaysia, whose production grew from 0.16 GW to 0.72 GW.
A significant number of players announced a reduction or cancellation of their plans to expand PV production worldwide in 2008 and 2009. Nevertheless, the shortfall appears to have been compensated, even exceeded, by new entrants into the field – notably large semiconductor or energy-related companies.
Dramatic price reduction in solar modules
A special feature shown in 2009 is the fact that changes in the market - which has moved from a supply- to a demand-driven logic - and the resulting over capacity for solar modules have caused a dramatic price reduction of almost 50% over 2 years, with an average selling price of less than €1.5 per Watt.
Other key findings of the reportWafer-based silicon is still the main technology for solar cells and represented 80% of the market share in 2009.
The market share of thin-film solar products has increased from 6% in 2005 and 10% in 2007 to 16-20% in 2009.
Concentrating photovoltaics (which uses lenses to concentrate sunlight on to photovoltaic cells) is an emerging technology growing at a fast pace, although from a low starting point.
The existing photovoltaic technology mix is a solid foundation for future growth of the sector, as no single technology can satisfy all the different consumer needs. The variety of photovoltaic technologies is an insurance against a "roadblock" for the implementation of solar photovoltaic electricity if material limitations or technical obstacles restrict the further development or growth of a single technology pathway.
The Photovoltaics Status Report is available at: http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/refsys/
Photovoltaic solar electricity potential in European countries: http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/cmaps/eu_opt/PVGIS-EuropeSolarPotential.pdf
ContactsElena González Verdesoto, JRC Press Officer: Elena.firstname.lastname@example.org
Darren McGarry, JRC-IE Communication Officer: Darren.email@example.com
Elena Gonzalez Verdesoto | EurekAlert!
Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot
21.07.2017 | Stanford University
Team develops fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes
18.07.2017 | University of Washington
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy