Solar PV

March 18, 2008

US government to make solar energy more cost competitive

World solar photovoltaic (PV) market installations reached a record high of 2,826 megawatts (MW) in 2007, representing growth of 62% over the previous year, says the annual PV market report issued today by Solarbuzz LLC, a San Francisco-based solar energy consultancy.

The PV industry generated $17.2 billion in global revenues in 2007. Germany’s PV market reached 1,328 MW in 2007 and now accounts for 47% of the world market. Spain soared by over 480% to 640 MW, while the United States increased by 57% to 220 MW. It became the world’s fourth largest market behind Japan, once the world leader, which declined 23% to 230 MW.

World solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 3,436 MW in 2007, up from 2,204 MW a year earlier. Japanese producers continue to lose ground, only accounting 26% of global production. Chinese manufacturers raised their share from 20% in 2006 to 35% in 2007.

Despite total polysilicon production rising 30% in 2007, it remained the most capacity constrained part of the PV chain. 21 new entrants started manufacturing polysilicon during the year.

Meanwhile, thin film production more than doubled from 181 MW in 2006 to 400 MW in 2007, accounting for 12% of total PV production.

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