India saw record $10.3bn clean energy investment in 2011. This was the highest growth figure of any significant economy in the world. The large growth was driven by a seven-fold increase in funding for grid-connected solar projects: from $0.6bn in 2010 to $4.2bn in 2011.
The world-wide solar photovoltaic (PV) market continued to grow in 2011 even in the midst of financial and economic crisis, with new grid-connected PV capacities rising by 27.7 GW and propelling the global PV capacity from 39.7 GW at the end of 2010 to 67.4 GW at the end of 2011. Almost 21 GW of this growth occurred in Europe. Italy was the No.1 market with installations reaching 9 GW, followed by Germany which installed 7.5 GW out of which 4 GW was added in Q4,2011. Germany PV Capacity scheduled for 2022 could already be reached in late 2015. Total installed PV capacity world-wide reached 67.4 GW at the end of 2011. Next in the list are China 2 GW, USA 1.6 GW, France 1.5 GW, Japan 1.1 GW.
PV is now, after hydro and wind power, the third most important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed capacity.There are continuous advancement towards Cost Reduction, Technological Innovation and aggressive pricing from Chinese Manufacturers.The average price of Chinese Tier-2 crystalline PV modules fell to $0.96 per watt in January 2012, according to the latest PV module pricing report from IMS Research. Annualized price declines (ignoring seasonality) slowed to 22% in January, having exceeded 50% in December, as incentive levels were reduced in a number of major PV markets at the end of 2011. Highly competitive pricing from Chinese Tier-2 manufacturers has continued into 2012 according to the new report, and the average crystalline PV module price from these suppliers declined twice as quickly as the total market in January dropping to $0.96/W. Although many spot prices were offered below this in recent months, this is the first time that the global average price had fallen below this industry milestone. Prices as low as $0.80/W (~€0.60/W) were recorded for Chinese Tier-2 module suppliers in January, typically for large orders from German distributors.
A new survey of more than 400 buyers of PV inverters has revealed a growing acceptance of Chinese products, with close to 30% of respondents indicating they were of acceptable quality.The growth of the China inverter market during the next four years will boost the country’s standing in the worldwide solar inverter space. China last year had only a 3 percent share of global PV inverter shipments, compared to 42 percent for Germany, 22 percent for Italy, 7 percent for the Czech Republic, 6 percent for the United States and Japan, and 4 percent for France. By 2015, however, China will account for 13 percent of the market a substantial increase.
Meanwhile the American Manufacturers continue to suffer at the cost of aggressive Chinese manufacturers. The NREL presentation, “Solar PV Manufacturing Cost Analysis: U.S. Competitiveness in a Global Industry,” concludes that Chinese producers have an inherent cost advantage of no greater than 1 percent, compared with U.S. producers. However, when trans-ocean shipping costs are counted, Chinese producers face a 5 percent cost disadvantage, according to the analysis (slide 26). “Massive government subsidies,” the government says, sponsor the Chinese industrial drive to export about 95 percent of domestic production, a campaign that has already seized 55 percent of global market share, according to NREL (slides eight and 20).
Technology advancement continues in Thin Films. Oerlikon Solar presented its 2nd generation ThinFab at the World Future Energy Summit 2012 (WFES) in Abu Dhabi.The new design reduces capital expenditure (Capex) by 23 % to just $ 1/Wp including engineering support and performance guarantees. The production line enables customers to produce high-quality thin film silicon modules for costs of around $ 0.5/Wp (€ 0.35/Wp), a record in the solar industry. Oerlikon Solar also announced a new record thin film silicon cell. At 12.5 %, the efficiency of this lab cell is 1.7 percentage points higher than the large scale production modules of the 2nd generation ThinFabTM (an increase of 16 %).First Solar, Inc. recently announced it set a new world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) solar module efficiency, achieving 14.4 percent total area efficiency.Alta Devices Solar Panel Receives NREL Verification Of 23.5% Efficiency.