Global PV installations to grow by up to 21 percent in 2012 forecasts IMS Research

April 04, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Global solar PV installations will grow by at least 3.5 percent and up to 21 percent in 2012, according to a new report released by market analyst, IMS Research.

The company forecasts that despite incentive cuts in most of the world’s largest markets, global installations will grow from 26.9 GW in 2011 to between 27.8 GW and 32.6 GW in 2012, with Europe’s share of installations falling from 69 percent last year to 50 percent this year.

IMS Research’s Q1’12 PV Demand Database, which tracks installations in more than 60 countries, revealed that new PV installations reached 26.9 GW in 2011 and its most-likely forecast shows this growing to 27.8 GW this year.   

Ash Sharma, Senior Research Director for Photovoltaics, commented: “Despite many in the industry still expecting further doom and gloom, we in fact see a pick-up in demand driven by falling system prices, a rush to  beat incentive cuts, and the growing number of mid-sized emerging PV markets.”

The new report shows installations growing by 21 percent to 32.6 GW this year. “It is no longer a case of whether the PV market will grow in 2012, the real question now is by how much will it grow,” Sharma explained. “When you only consider a handful of countries like Germany, Italy and France, it’s easy be pessimistic about demand; however, when you look further afield and analyse demand from 60 countries, the picture becomes much more positive.”,.

According to the Q1’12 report, at least 23 counties will install 100 MW or more this year, up from just 17 last year. “It is this geographic diversification that will help drive growth in global PV installations this year as the market becomes less dependent on just one or two markets. Ultimately it will also lead to stability for the industry in the longer term as the impact of a single country’s policy will weaken,” added Sharma.

Germany, however, is still predicted to remain the largest and most important PV market this year and despite the overhaul to its FiT policy, new installations are predicted to reach at least