This graph, from a recent presentation from Canadian Solar, the world’s third biggest solar PV module manufacturer, gives a fascinating insight into the changing shape of global demand for solar – not just it’s massive growth, but also its geographical shift.
In 2011, for instance, Italy was the largest market for solar PV in the world, followed by Germany. Together they accounted for more than 60 per cent of global demand, thanks to their favourable feed in tariffs at the tim.
The next year, demand from the world’s three biggest economies awoke. In 2014, China, Japan, and the US will be the world’s three biggest markets, showing compound growth rates since 2009 of between 69 per cent and 165 per cent in the case of China.
Demand in both China and Japan is being supported by feed-in-tariffs, and the rate in China is expected to increase to ensure that demand is met. In Japan, the FiT has been set at 36 yen ($US0.38)/kWh, while in the US solar is supported by tax credits, net metering, and power purchase agreements set by an auctioning process for large utility-scale projects.