Regional PV Markets: Europe

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Global PV Market 2010

Market Facts - Europe PV Markets

Detailed information on this PV market is included in the Solarbuzz European PV Market report, updated quarterly.  Solarbuzz regional market reports provide detailed insight including market segmentation, government policies, downstream acquisitions, project-by-project listings, investment economics, pricing and forecasts.  Learn more.


PV incentive tariff policy changes are shaping market growth patterns in the region. Market growth of 169% across Europe in 2010 was led by Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Each country delivered gigawatt-scale markets and, combined, represented 89% of European demand. Italy’s market share is forecast to rise from 32% in 2010 to 39% in 2015, to become the largest market in Europe, while the combined share of the two largest markets, Italy and Germany, is forecast to fall to 71% in 2015, from 80% in 2010.

Highlights from the Solarbuzz European PV Market Quarterly report

  • Growth of the Italian market in 2010 came despite installed system prices up to 33% higher than in Germany, depending on system size.
  • Even with high prices, solar PV project investment returns (IRRs) up to 20% could still be realized, a clear indicator both of the generous level of incentive tariff rates and the headroom for future tariff reductions.
  • France, Spain, Belgium, and Greece constituted a strong second-tier of markets in the 100-1000 MW-size-range in 2010. Here, forecast project Internal Rate of Returns (IRRs) will generally meet or exceed customer expectations in most major market segments in 2011.
  • However, by 2012, only in Greece will this be the case for large ground-mounted installations.
  • Smaller markets offering growth potential include: Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and the UK.

The uncertainty over the pathway of European solar incentives, module pricing, and regulatory constraints will lead this region into a period of extreme market volatility. Business models that worked based on a limited number of high-growth European markets, twinned with high prices, will be sorely tested as this region transitions to a more fragmented market structure with considerably tighter downstream margins.

Forecast Changes to Customer Segmentation in Europe 2010 vs. 2015 Green World Scenario

Source: Solarbuzz European PV Markets Quarterly

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