In 2009, newly installed photovoltaic (PV) cells world-wide produced a peak amount of electricity estimated at 7.4 GW, out of which 5.8 GW was located in Europe
Similarly to previous years, this shows the EU's dominance, where more than three quarters of the world's new solar systems were installed.
By the end of 2009, Europe's cumulative installed PV electricity generation capacity (existing and newly installed) was 16 GW, which is about 70% of the world's total (22GW). These are just some of the findings of the ninth annual Photovoltaics Status Report published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The study, carried out by the JRC's Institute for Energy (IE), summarises and evaluates the results of a survey of more than 300 companies worldwide. It looks at the photovoltaic market and industry worldwide with special attention to the EU, India, Japan, China, Taiwan and the United States, providing a final outlook on the topic.
It also provides an overview of current activities in research, manufacturing and market implementation in this sector. However, data from 2009 may have a higher uncertainty than usual, mostly due to the difficult market situation and a decreased willingness of companies to report confidential data.
Growth in European PV generating capacity
It is estimated that one GW of PV electricity generation capacity provides enough electricity for about 250,000 European households during one year. In the EU in 2009, 27.5 GW of new power capacity was constructed. About 21% (5.8 GW, up from 5.1 GW in 2008) of this was PV based.
Most of the EU's growth that year occurred in Germany (3.8 GW, reaching a cumulative value of 9.8 GW), where in the 4th quarter, some 2.3 GW were connected to the grid. In fact, Germany ranks first in the world for cumulative installed capacity (9.8 GW), followed by Spain (3.5 GW) (fig.1), thanks to the renewable energy legislation in these countries.
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