Italy installs 2GW of solar PV in 2010
Official reports in last week confirmed that Italy installed nearly 2GW (1,850MW) of photovoltaic power plants during 2010 alone. This continues a rapid growth curve in Italian PV power plants over the past few years from just 60MW in 2007 to 340MW in 2008 and 711MW in 2009. Italy´s 2010 tally more than doubles the figure achieved in the United States who did not quite reach 1GW.
Italian utility provider GSE has outlined that an additional 4GW is already pipelined for installation in the coming years. In accordance with Italy´s 2020 renewable energy targets, the total installed PV target is 8GW in total which will produce almost 3% of the country´s electricity demand itself.
U.S PV to double in 2011
According to IDC Energy Insights the U.S total photovoltaic market growth is expected to double in 2011. With roughly 1GW of installations in 2010, as the PV market cost continues to drop this figure is expected to double to around 2GW in 2011. IDC Energy Insights have recently released a study that focuses on the U.S market, including production cost fall-off, government legislation subsidies and incentives, and technological advancements. Whilst the U.S currently lags behind European solar powers Germany and Spain the 2011 growth forecasts indicate that in the near future the global economic powerhouse may well catch up this decade. So much hangs on the legislation, which has ultimately caused the slow-down in Spain´s market.
Americas Largest PV Plant Opens
Last week the largest PV power plant in the U.S. quietly went online in Boulder City, Nevada, about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Sempra Generation’s 48-MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility began construction in January 2010 and on Dec 1st, the company announced that it had finished the project and the facility was now generating electricity.
At its peak, Sempra said, more than 350 construction workers were installing the 775,000 First Solar panels that power the plant on the 380-acre site.
The power from Copper Mountain Solar and Sempra Generation’s adjacent 10-MW El Dorado Solar plant has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under separate 20-year contracts. California utilities are required to procure 20 percent of their energy supply from alternative sources by the end of 2010, increasing to 33 percent by 2020.
The completion of the project eclipsed the 20-MW DeSoto PV plant in Arcadia Florida, which was the previous record holder for the largest U.S. solar power plant.
This moves the U.S. into the “top five” when it comes to large PV power plants; only Canada, Italy, Germany and Spain have bigger plants, according PV Power Plants 2010, which ranks the top 50 facilities.
EUROPES PV MARKET INCREASING
Global solar inverter shipments soared in the third quarter to a record figure of 7.3 GW, according to IMS Research.
Volume surged nearly 50% from 5 GW in the second quarter, largely due to growing demand in Europe and Asia, said the UK-based PV market intelligence firm. While the rise in German demand has slowed, other new European markets also fared well, expanding by more than 300% year-on-year.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounted for around 80% of inverter shipments in the third quarter of 2010.
“Again we are referring to a record quarter for inverter suppliers with the previous record of 5 GW of shipments in Q2’10 being beaten by almost 50% in Q3’10,” said Tom Haddon, a PV analyst at IMS Research.