The series of years of vigorous growth of the world-wide PV market, even during times of financial and economic crisis, has continued in 2011.
In 2011, more than 69 GW of PV has been installed globally and could produce 85 TWh
of electricity every year. This energy volume is sufficient to cover the annual power
supply needs of over 20 million households.
PV is now, after hydro and wind power, the third most important renewable energy in terms
of globally installed capacity. The growth rate of PV during 2011 reached almost 70%, an
outstanding level among all renewable technologies.
In terms of global cumulative installed capacity, Europe still leads the way with more
than 51 GW installed as of 2011. This represents about 75% of the world’s total PV
cumulative capacity. Next in the ranking are Japan (5 GW) and the USA (4.4 GW),
followed by China (3.1 GW) which reached its first GW in 2011.
Many of the markets outside Europe, in particular China, the USA and Japan, but also Australia (1.3 GW) and India (0.46 GW), have addressed only a very small part of their enormous potential; several
countries from large sunbelt regions like Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and Latin
America are on the brink of starting their development.
Even so, the cumulative installed capacity outside Europe almost doubled between 2010 and 2011, demonstrating the ongoing rebalancing between Europe and the rest of the world and reflecting more closelythe patterns in electricity consumption.
Reported from the European photovoltaic industry association.