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Solar Industry Has a Record Year, but Expecting to Climb Much Higher in 2010

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The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) released figures yesterday showing that the global solar photovoltaic industry had a record year in 2009. But it is expecting a lot from 2010 as well.

EPIA reported that global installed capacity increased to 20GW last year, an increase of 6.4GW. It is expecting another increase of at least 40% in total installed capacity in 2010.

The largest global market continued to be Germany, which has a total capacity of almost 9GW now, one third of which was installed in 2009. Despite cutting feed-in tariffs for solar in 2010, it is still suspected to be the leader by the end of the year.

Italy, which is working on completing the largest solar PV farm in the world this year, came in at number two worldwide in 2009. It had a total of about 700MW of capacity last year. EPIA expects a lot of growth in its market this year due to its “conto energia” incentives.

Japan rounded out the top three with an installed capacity of 484MW. As with the other leaders, it is also expected to continue its growth at a rapid pace in 2010 due to much government support for the industry.

The US was just behind Japan with 475MW of capacity. It also grew a lot in 2009 and is expected to continue growing fast in 2010.

Basically, worldwide, the solar industry is expected to grow substantially in the coming years. The EPIA is expecting that global installed capacity will increase 50%, to 30GW, by 2014

Of course, much of this depends on government support for the industry. Will governments around the world help to continue this rapid growth trend? Will we hit 30GW by 2014? Will we perhaps even blow past that? We will see. For now, EPIA’s estimate looks like a good one.

Image Credit: Voice0Reason via flickr under a CC license

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