Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Solar energy industry stagnating in Europe

EU has dominated global solar energy market in terms of new installations for more than a decade but things have significantly changed in the last few years. The great demand for solar energy in Asia has seen China overtake EU in 2013 as the global leader in new solar installations with the total PV installation of 12.9 GW as compared to 10.6 GW in EU.

China is not the only country in Asia with great demand for solar energy. Japan is also looking to significantly expand its solar energy market and has added 7 GW of new solar power capacity in 2013.

If Asia continues this strong solar energy push it will soon end EU domination in terms of cumulative installed solar power capacity. EU with approximately 81 GW of cumulative installed capacity currently accounts for 57% of globally installed solar capacity.

In the last decade EU has experienced tremendous growth in solar power capacity. In 2005, cumulative end capacity was only 1.9 GW, and it rose to 80.7 GW at the end of 2013.

This growth had plenty to do with the favorable feed in tariffs for solar energy in many of EU countries such as Germany and Italy. The demand for solar power decreased once solar tariffs were cut, and Germany the largest EU photovoltaic market installed only 3.3. GW of solar power capacity in 2013, a sharp decline from 7.6 GW a year earlier.

Many energy analysts expect this solar energy slowdown to continue in EU in the upcoming years. The recent forecast by the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that EU solar market share in global solar power capacity will continue to shrink and will likely fall below 30% by 2020.