Posted by Big Gav
Stuar at Early Warning has a look at the growth of solar power worldwide - Global Solar Growth Continued Strong in 2011.
That is a pretty extra-ordinary growth curve. Seeing what is already a decent sized industry ($82 billion in 2010) with a linearly increasing growth rate this high is an amazing thing.
It's not certain how long this will continue however:European markets where PV has developed vigorously in recent years have reached, at least for the time being, a level that will be difficult to maintain in the two coming years. The market slowdown in Europe will not immediately be offset by market growth elsewhere in the world, but a rebalancing has begun. New markets around the world will have to be opened up to drive PV development in the coming decade just as Europe accounted for it until now.
Many existing markets – in particular China, the USA and Japan, but also India – have addressed only a very small part of their enormous potential for PV development. Moreover, several countries from large sunbelt regions like Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and South America are on the brink of starting their development, pushed by an increasing awareness of solar PV potential. As a whole, the global PV market will grow more sustainably, driven by the competitiveness of PV solutions rather than mainly by financial support schemes. But this Paradigm Shift will not happen overnight.