Global PV Market

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Global PV Market 2010

Brief Summary of the Year

The 2010 global solar photovoltaic (PV) market size soared past the forecasts of the previous year, allowing prices throughout the PV chain to hold up much better than anticipated. Worldwide PV market installations reached a record high of 18.2 GW in 2010, representing growth of 139% Y/Y. The PV industry generated $82 billion in global revenues in 2010, up 105% Y/Y from $40 billion in 2009. Meanwhile, worldwide solar cell production reached 20.5 GW in 2010, up from 9.86 GW in 2009. Due to the recent sharp cuts in tariffs in Europe, the industry will need to stimulate positive PV policies across new markets and regions in order to be successful.


Global market increases 139% to 18.23 GW in 2010

  • European markets accounted for 81% of global demand.
  • Only three markets were larger than 1 GW in size: Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic. These markets accounted for 74% of global market growth in 2010.
  • Only four other markets exceeded 500 MW: Japan, United States, France, and China.
  • 2011 market demand is forecast to be in the range of 15.4-26.5 GW, with a most likely outcome of 21 GW.

Worldwide cell production reaches 20.5 GW

  • Total global cell production increased 108%, with crystalline silicon up 117% and thin film up 62%.
  • Multicrystalline silicon increased share to 55.5% of production compared to monocrystalline at 31%. The thin film market share dropped to 13.5%.
  • Overall cell manufacturing capacity utilization rose to 70% in 2010.

PV chain pricing remains relatively stable

  • Periods of supply tightness during the year allowed some firmer pricing in the polysilicon and wafer parts of the PV chain.
  • Tier 1 and 2 Chinese majors and emerging Asian producers continued to capture market share, benefiting from an average of 15% in price discounts to Japanese/Western producers.
  • Global weighted installed PV system prices increased in dollar terms, driven partly by the dollar fall. This increase is also a result of greater weighting to higher system prices in the Italian market.


Source: Solarbuzz Marketbuzz 2010

*Market size definition based on PV systems installed and/or delivered to site.

Detailed information on global PV markets is included in Marketbuzz and Solarbuzz Quarterly reports.  Learn more.

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