MONDAY 22 DECEMBER, 2008 |
2008 World Solar Power Status Report
A recent report from the European Union's Joint Research Center Institute
shows continued massive increases in the annual growth rate
of global solar cell production.
Growth in production averaged 40% over five years ; peaking at 60% in 2007 when
solar cell production reached 4 GWp. The solar
sector has become an AUD $28.5 billion a year business and is expect
to grow to AUD $85.5 billion in 2010, while still seeing price drops on solar
panels for end consumers.
is now the number one solar cell manufacturer followed by Q-cells and Suntech
The market share of the ten largest solar cell manufacturers has eroded from 80% in 2004 to 57% in 2007 due to an increasing number of
companies entering the solar cell production market, predominantly in China and Taiwan.
Since 2003, the thin film solar
production segment grew in average by over 80% and reached 400 MW or 10% of total solar cell production in 2007.
The agency believes that a thin film market
share of 25 to 30% in 2010 is possible.
According to the report, current global electricity generation from solar
is around 10 billion kilowatt hours, with half of that
capacity coming from the European Union. While solar power derived electricity
still only accounts for a tiny 0.2% of total electricity consumption in Europe,
at current levels it still represents 4 million fewer tonnes of carbon
dioxide being released each year compared to equivalent coal fired power
Germany remains the largest single solar market with 1,100 megawatts, followed by Spain with 341
megawatts, Japan with 210 megawatts and the US with 205 megawatts.
Based on current trends, the JRC projects that over 15 terawatt hours (15
billion kilowatt hours) of electricity will be generated by solar power systems
around the world in 2010, a 50% increase from 2007. The EU JRC also predicts
that by 2012 China will achieve 27% of worldwide solar cell production capacity
(nearly 43 gigawatts), followed by Europe with 23%, Japan with 17% and Taiwan
The full 142 page JRC
2008 PV Status Report
can be downloaded here (PDF)
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