SAN FRANCISCO, March 6, 2002 — Solar electricity price rises of last year are set to reverse in 2002, following widespread investment in new solar cell manufacturing capacity and a projected modest slowdown from the breadth-taking market growth rate in 2001.
This is the main conclusion of a report issued today by Solarbuzz Inc, a solar energy consultancy.
Last year, the combined impact of major market incentive programs in Japan, Germany and the USA helped produce a record solar electric market of 360 Megawatts. Grid-connected solar demand grew to a new high of two-thirds of the total world market. As product shipments rose by 38%, tighter supply put upward pressure on solar electric prices during 2001.
“The forward looking approach taken by Japanese and German governments means that these two countries now account for over sixty per cent of the global PV market,” said Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz Inc. “Their concerted national programs have created a robust installation infrastructure in each country and a strong manufacturing base in Japan.”
“World solar electricity downward price pressures in 2002 will be driven by Japanese cell manufacturers looking toward overseas markets,” he continued. “Although still expanding strongly in 2002, the rate of world market growth will be tempered by slower expansion in the key market of Germany and also Japan.”
In the United States, the solar electric market is being led by programs in California, which has the opportunity to become the first State with a material, grid-tied solar electric market, the Report concludes.
The Marketbuzz 2002 Report released by Solarbuzz Inc, provides a helicopter view of the status of worldwide PV industry, the solar energy market in 2001 and its prospects for 2002. It gives commercial insights on the key issues that will impact PV industry performance in 2002. Included in the report, Solarbuzz’s recent worldwide survey of PV companies shows that 50% of the participants expect to see growth in their marketing regions exceed 25% in 2002.
About Solarbuzz Inc:
Solarbuzz Inc is a solar energy consultancy headquartered in San Francisco, California. It also operates a solar energy industry portal web site at www.solarbuzz.com.