The solar photovoltaic industry is entering a new phase in which innovation, cost-containment and cultivation of new markets will be more crucial than ever before. But it is important to remember that even in this uncertain climate the business and financial communities still clearly see PV as a solid bet for the future.
The years 2009 and 2010 were unusually strong for the PV market – outperforming even the remarkable growth trend of the last two decades. In 2011, even in a period of market turbulence – and, let’s not forget, economic crisis – we will still see growth in the PV market globally. And as EPIA’s new study “Solar Photovoltaics Competing in the Energy Sector” shows, the continued reduction in the cost of generating PV electricity means that solar will be competitive across Europe before 2020.
EPIA’s recent Investors Day conference – held in Hamburg on 6 September during the 26th EU PVSEC – showed just how strong the confidence in the sector continues to be. Industry CEOs and leaders of the financial and business communities revealed a level of optimism that should dispel any doubts about solar PV’s future.
Even though there was widespread agreement that the PV business has a bright future despite current challenges, this optimism was not unqualified. Investors will be looking for sound business models, technological innovation and continued cost-reduction. And policymakers must provide the kind of regulatory stability that attracts investors and encourages business development.
It is also important to remember how far PV has
come in a very short time. The current situation is part of the
maturation process of an industry that over the past two decades has
significantly outperformed all expectations. But the PV industry will
emerge stronger than ever.
By Reinhold Buttgereit, EPIA Secretary General