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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photovoltaics Status Report 2008: 60% increase in solar panel production

On December 11, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has released the latest Photovoltaics Status Report. According to JRC, this scientific study combines analysis of up-to-date international manufacturing and market implementation data throughout 2007 with subsequent strategic and political developments up to September 2008.

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Preliminary findings demonstrate the next key facts:
  • an increase in the yearly growth rate of solar photovoltaic production, averaging 40% over five years and then peaking at 60% in 2007;
  • a €5.7 billion turnover in Germany in 2007 with in excess of 100,000 houses installing solar panels;
  • world electricity production with PV systems is ca 10 Billion KWh, of which half comes from the EU. Solar energy still accounts for only 0.2% of total electricity consumption in Europe. Yet, the net effect is 4 million fewer tonnes of CO2 being released;
  • incentive schemes and technical advances are having a positive downward impact on photovoltaic costs. Market value is estimated to reach €40 billion by 2010 with lower prices for consumers.

Joint Research Centre predicts that more than 15TWh of electricity will be generated in 2010, what is equivalent to 0.5% of the EU 27 total net production of electricity in 2006 (the same as Slovenia's total electricity consumption). This prediction is sustained on photovoltaic growth scenario for Europe based on 2001 to 2007 data, an analysis of European policies and assessment of current investments.

Other projections are that by 2012 China will account for 27% of worldwide solar cell production capacity (approximately 42.8 GW), followed by Europe with 23%, Japan with 17% and Taiwan with 14%.

Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy is one of 14 different energy technologies that the European Commission's Joint Research Centre is currently assessing within the context of the SETIS (Strategic Energy Technology Information System), which is a key input to Europe's current energy policy. The Joint Research Centre, through the SETIS provides independent, validated and reliable information on energy technologies.This ranges from research on hydrogen fuel-cells and solar to nuclear energy.

The JRC comprises 2,750 staff across seven research institutes in 5 EU Member States (Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain), including the Institute for Energy in Petten, North Holland.


Second JRC, the last edition of the Photovoltaic Status Report 2007 was downloaded 150,000 times.

You can get a free copy of the new Photovoltaic Status Report 2008 at:
re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/refsys/ [PDF]

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PV Status Report 2008
Research, Solar Cell Production and Market Implementation of Photovoltaics
September 2008
Arnulf Jäger-Waldau
European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre,
Institute for Energy, Renewable Energies Unit

Abstract
Photovoltaics is a solar power technology to generate Electricity using semiconductor devices, known as solar cells. A number of solar cells form a solar "Module" or "Panel", which can then be combined to solar systems, ranging from a few Watts of electricity output to multi Megawatt power stations.
The unique format of the Photovoltaic Status Report is to combine international up-to-dateinformation about Research Activities with Manufacturing and Market Implementation data of Photovoltaics. These data are collected on a regular basis from public and commercial studies and cross-checked with personal communications. Regular fact-finding missions with company visits, as well as meetings with officials from funding organisations and policy makers, complete the picture.
Growth in the solar Photovoltaic sector has been robust. Yearly growth rates over the last five years were on average more than 40%, thus making Photovoltaics one of the fastest growing industries at present. Business analysts predict that the market volume will increase to € 40 billion in 2010 and expect rising profit margins and lower prices for consumers at the same time. The PV Status Report provides comprehensive and relevant information on this dynamic sector for the public interested, as well as decision- makers in policy and industry.

Images(except the first) and data Source: PV News, Photon International and JRC analysis

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