A recent announcement from Italy‘s GSE, revealing that cumulative applications for PV systems reached 7 GW by the end of 2010, appears to confirm IMS Research’s earlier prediction that global installations reached 17.5 GW last year, several GW higher than most forecasts; though it also suggests the market researcher’s estimate of 3.5 GW for Italy may have been conservative. However, these numbers from GSE may not reveal the whole truth as they also include partially completed PV systems.
IMS Research, which recently announced that its ‘mid-case’ estimates for Italy had installations at a minimum of 3.5 GW in 2010 has performed several subsequent checks with suppliers and integrators on the Italian market and believes installations may in fact reach its ‘upper-case’ estimates of 4.4 GW, based on the announcement from the GSE.
The market research firm’s predictions for global installation reaching 17.5 GW in 2010 is somewhat higher than most analysts, banks, and major suppliers estimated; however, the discrepancy had been attributed to Italy; where many others had expected only around 1-2 GW to have been installed versus IMS Research’s 3.5 GW. Following IMS Research’s multiple checks on the supply chain and downstream, it appears it correctly identified that the Italian market had grown much more than most anticipated.
Although the GSE has revealed that cumulative installations reached 7 GW at the end of 2010, implying new installations of some 5.8 GW in the year, it is not totally clear how many of these applications are for completed systems or even for systems that have not even been started. IMS Research’s subsequent analysis of the industry has found that lack of module and inverter availability in Italy would make 5.8 GW impossible and information from suppliers active in Italy has found that many developers have simply applied for grid-connection on partly constructed projects (that may not even have modules installed) in order to benefit from the higher tariff. Based on this latest information, IMS Research believes 3.5-4.2 GW of fully installed PV capacity was added in Italy in 2010.
PV Research Director Ash Sharma commented on the outlook for the Italian market in 2011, “These massive numbers from GSE will undoubtedly shock the industry and will have serious repercussions for 2011. PV capacity growth in Italy is now well ahead of the government’s intended roadmap and may now lead to an early intervention to curb growth in this over-heating market. This may then lead to the unwanted consequence of a further boom in demand as developers seek to complete projects in time, as they did in Germany in early 2010”
Further Information: IMS Research (http://www.imsresearch.com/)
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