Page 52 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2014
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52 Autumn 2014 European Energy Innovation


European Photovoltaic Market
contracts in a rapid expanding
global market

By Arnulf J├Ąger-Waldau, European Commission

During the last 10 years, rapid growing markets in China, (Fig.2). With a cumulative installed
solar photovoltaic Japan and the USA more than capacity of about 80 GW, the
electricity generation compensated the stronger than European Union is still leading in
has grown from a niche expected market contraction in PV installations with 58% of the
market to provide about 180 Europe and resulted in a new total world-wide 138 GW of solar
TWh electricity in 2014, roughly installed capacity of about 38 GW photovoltaic electricity generation
0.8% of the world electricity in 2013. For 2014, an increase to capacity at the end of 2013, but
about 45 to 49 GW is expected down from the 70% at the end
production. The IEA Medium- (Fig. 1). This represents mostly of 2012. According to the IEA
Term Renewable Energy Market the grid connected photovoltaic Medium-Term Renewable Energy
Report 2014 published in August market. To what extent the off-grid Market Report 2014 this share will
2014 estimates, that cumulative and consumer product markets drop below 30% by 2020 due to
installed capacity of solar are included is not clear, but it is a stagnant market of 7 to 8 GW
photovoltaic electricity systems believed that a substantial part of between 2014 and 2020.
will more than triple by 2020 these markets are not accounted
compared to 2013. for as it is very difficult to track What are the reasons and
them. main consequences of this
After the world-wide photovoltaic development?
market more than doubled in Between 2004 and 2012 Europe
2010 , the market grew again by was the largest market for Some Member States had
almost 30% in 2011, 11% in 2012 photovoltaic installations, before introduced support schemes,
and another 28% in 2013. The China took this spot in 2013 which were not designed to
react fast enough to the very
Figure 1 Cumulative Photovoltaic Installations from 2005 to 2014 rapid growing market and this
led to unsustainable local market
(Data source: EPIA1, Eurobserver2 and JRC analysis) growth rates. To counteract,
unpredictable and frequent
200 changes of the support schemes
as well as legal requirements
Cumulative Photovoltaic Installations [GWp] Rest of Europe led to installation peaks before
announced deadlines as well as
Italy high uncertainty for potential
160 Spain investors. A number of retroactive
changes have further decreased
Germany investment confidence.

Rest of World The legal framework for the
overall increase of renewable
120 China energy sources in the European
United States Union was set with the Directive
2009/28/EC, and in the
Japan mandatory National Renewable
Energy Action Plans (NREAPs), the
80 Member States have set specific


2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014e
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