Green Economy shutterstock_96602731 (2)

Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Adam Johnston


Germany, China, North America Head List Of Top 10 PV Markets

February 4th, 2013 by  

Germany, China, and North America led the way in the top 10 photovoltaic (PV) global market places in 2012 based on recent research done by NPD Solarbuzz analysis.

Image Credit: Man Standing By Solar Panels via Shutterstock

In a recent PV Tech article, Germany again took top prize with 26% of the global PV market share, thanks to slight volume increases on a year-on-year basis. However, the solar giants dipped 2% on their portion of total world demand.

Roaring into the number two spot was China at 16% . The emerging market country showed massive gains, helping to advance its market share on a year-on-year basis by 70%. The extremely fast growth in China helped them leapfrog past Italy, which fell to fourth (11%).

Meanwhile, North American markets — consisting of the United States and Canada — jumped up the ladder by two spots (past Italy) to third spot (12%).

Much of the upward trend seen in North America was its doubling of its year-on-year market share. Just in the third quarter of 2012 alone the United States saw 684 megawatts (MW) of new installed solar capacity, an increase of 44% compared to the third quarter of 2011.

Coming in at number five was Japan (7%); sixth France (4%); seventh Greece (3%); eighth Australia (3%); ninth India (2%) and the United Kingdom was tenth (2%). All other countries represented 14% of the global market share in 2012. Overall in 2012, the top ten markets made up 86% of world PV demand.

However, that did not stop global markets outside the top ten from growing. In fact,  countries outside the top ten advanced their market share by 3%, while increasing their volume by more than 40%.

In 2013, expect more shakeups within the top ten.

NPD predicts China will claim number one, and Japan number four, due to a 50% increase in growth within the Japanese market. Brian Barker, Senior Analyst with NPD Solar Buzz said the solar markets, once dominated by Europe, is now getting a run for its money from other competitors:

The developments are a dramatic change from several years ago when PV demand was almost entirely dominated by European markets. The shift towards other markets is broadly beneficial to the industry, as it reduces the risk of strong demand swings due to abrupt policy changes in any single country.

World demand has also been helped with ongoing declining solar costs, which have helped contribute to consumer demand for solar power. However, NPD suggests there could be some head winds facing global solar markets in 2013, including various trade conflicts and concerns over Chinese capacity levels.

The Future of Global Solar Markets

Will 2013 see continued phenomenal growth of global solar markets, or will they be tempered by trade war concerns? Don’t be surprised to see continued strong growth in world demand. However, trade wars may limit further upside potential for another sunny year for the global PV market this year.

Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , , , , , ,

About the Author

Is currently studying at the School of the Environment Professional Development program in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto. Adam graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications. Adam also writes for Solar Love and also owns his own part time tax preparation business. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst, and is currently sharpening his skills as a renewable energy writer. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or at

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Energy Storage USA, June 15–16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    American Renewable Energy Day Summit Storage USA, June 20-24, Snowmass, Colorado (US)
    The American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI) brings together thought leaders and experts to foster climate change solutions.

    InterSolar North America, July 12–14, San Francisco, California (US)
    The most-attended solar event in the US. We’ll be there– will you?

    EES North America, July 12–14, San Francisco, California (US)
    International exhibition for batteries and storage, co-located with InterSolar.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 FAQ … Answered!

    Tesla Model 3 side
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network