London, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 30 September 2011 – Research company IMS Research has increased its global photovoltaics (PV) forecast for the full year of 2011 by more than 1 GW, and predicts that more than 22 GW of new PV capacity will be added during the course of the year.

The company cited growing demand in all major markets, notably in Asia and the Americas, as well as a pick-up in the sluggish German market. It said installations in the second half would be nearly double that seen in the first six months.

Its latest Global PV Demand report, it predicts that despite weak first and second quarters, demand will grow rapidly in the second half of 2011 due to rapidly falling module prices, incoming incentives in new markets, and planned end of year cuts in existing markets.

Senior research director Ash Sharma commented, “Although installations grew just 13% in Q2 from Q1 the results of our latest report show that there will be a huge surge in installations in the second half of the year. Several mid-sized markets like the USA are growing massively, while markets like Germany and Italy are starting to pick up too.”

According to the report, several European markets, including Germany, will see a major slowdown or even a fall in 2011. However, Europe overall will be only one percent down this year due to geographic diversification, with high demand coming from a number of new countries such as Slovakia and the UK.

The report revealed that 11 countries in Europe will install at least 100 MW this year, with 20 countries globally installing this amount or more – up from just 13 the previous year.
China is Key

“In China we’re forecasting installations of 1.3GW this year and more than 2GW in 2012,” commented Sharma. In the longer term, IMS projects that China will become a key player for PV – and not just for production, with the country becoming one of the top three markets in 2015.

IMS Research has also updated and released its top 10 markets for 2011, and reveals that although Europe still dominates the global PV market, only four of the 10 most important markets in 2011 will be European, with Asian markets ranking prominently.

“At the same time, it’s important to remember that Europe will still account for close to 70% of global installations this year,” added Sharma.

The 10 most important PV markets in 2011, according to IMS Research, will be: Germany, Italy, USA, China, Japan, France, Australia, India, Spain and Canada.