Solar Industry Expected Growth for 2011


40% Growth Projection. This Would Mean Doubling in Size Every 2 Years…
The solar industry has grown quite fast in the past few years, and it looks like this will continue in 2011, at least according to a market research by iSuppli. “iSuppli forecasts that worldwide solar installations will reach 20.2 Gigawatts (GW) next year, up from 14.2GW at the end of 2010.” This would be a growth of 42.3%. At that rate, the industry would double every two years.

installing solar panels roof photo
Photo: Flickr, CC

While 40%+ is great growth any way you slice it, it will still represent a slowdown from 2009’s 97.9% growth.
installing solar panels roof photo
Photo: Flickr, CC

There is some concern that German demand could slow down – it accounts for almost half of total demand – but iSuppli doesn’t think that Germany will put a cap on solar yet:

Speculation is also rife about the possibility of a PV installation cap being imposed in Germany for 2011. However, iSuppli believes that the German government will not dare to cut down PV subsidies, especially in the wake of a recent decision to extend the operation of nuclear power plants. (source)

Solar still represent a still fraction of total generation capacity, but something that keeps doubling rapidly can easily surprise people. Exponential curves are very counter-intuitive.

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