Europe solar dominance on decline as subsidy cuts bite

Europe’s dominance in solar panel installations is on the decline, with subsidies biting in and increases in other parts of the world.

While the government in the UK may have lost a recent battle to move forward cuts to Feed-In-Tariffs, the imminent drop in solar subsidies here as well as other parts of Europe will affect growth over the next year.

Germany, too, has agreed to lower FiTs, and Europe as a whole will see its share of installations falling from 69 percent last year to 50 percent this year, according to forecasts by IMS Research. 

While European countries have lead the way with large scale solar take-up, installations are moving faster in other parts of the world. Nevertheless, Germany will remain the world leader for the time being – with at least 6GW of installations expected this year thanks to a rush for installations ahead of FIT drops.

In fact, the global industry looks to be in good shape. In total, global installations will grow from 26.9 gigawatts in 2011 to between 27.8 GW and 32.6GW this year.

China, which has been feuding with the US over panel prices in recent months, is set to become the second largest market in the world, though it will not be able to catch up to Europe despite slowing demand.

We can expect installations as high as 8GW this year, according to IMS.  Global growth is also getting a boost from a larger number of countries contributing on smaller levels.

23 countries or more are expected to be installing at least 100MW over the course of the year, compared to 17 last year.