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Solar PV outlook from Europe

14th May 2013

The solar power industry is truly a global market with eyes all over the world providing various innovations and insights.

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association has released a new report, the Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-17.

In summary, the report found that 2012, despite some bumps in the road, was a historic year for solar PV.

The world's total PV capacity beat the 100 GW installed electrical power mark, reaching just over 102 GW.

That's as much electrical energy as 16 coal power plants or nuclear reactors of 1 GW each - saving over 53 million tonnes of CO2!

Yet 2012 was also a significant year for another reason - the European market for PV declined compared to the previous year.

This affects the global and European forecasts for the next five years.

So what does this all mean for solar PV? Here are a few of the implications named in the report.

1)      Solar PV is becomingly increasingly global. Europe will no longer be at the very forefront of new solar installations, with markets like China, the US and the Asia-Pacific set to dominate.
2)      The industry is getting more competitive. PV technology is now cheaper and more accessible, and viable to reach grid parity.
3)      Government incentives and financial support for PV development is slowing down, and therefore solar PV will have to rely on actively participating in the electricity system.
4)      2013 may be a difficult year for PV companies with an imbalance between supply and demand.
5)      Despite any looming industry difficulties, PV will continue to grow as a part of the world's energy mix.

Support for more solar power in Australia remains high, with a number of clean energy initiatives from the government as well as popular backing.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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