Despite challenges in the economic environment, the US photovoltaic (PV) market still showed promising growth. Due to the recent trend, other countries tend to be experiencing increased rate of growth. The global market growth was largely stimulated by improved government initiatives and incentives which resulted to the significant growth in the the demand for PV systems. This is a great indication that more people these days take solar energy advantages more seriously than ever before.
In the USA, the enactment of Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by thirty states contributes a major part in the market progress. The RPS is known as a regulation that needs electricity supply companies to develop a specified fraction on their electricity from alternative energy sources just like geothermal, wind, biomass and solar. This program combined with the federal Production Tax Credits (PTC) were thought by many as significant stimulus to market PV systems as well as their growth, since this will most likely spark competition and innovation which could result in the reduction of alternative energy costs. Similar programs seem to be adopted by Poland, Italy, Britain, Belgium, Chile and Sweden.
In Europe, Germany has remained the top PV market accompanied by Italy, Czech Republic Belgium and France. Regardless of the decline in growth experienced by most of these countries recently, still they were able to regain the boom with improved government policies, subsidies and market incentives.
The development of PV market in Japan seem to be largely driven by new government policies. The reintroduction of the nationwide residential incentive program along with the launch of the country’s own version of Feed-In Tariff (FIT) in 2009 have significantly spurred improvement in people’s awareness on solar energy advantages.
In China, the expansion of the PV market size was stimulated as an effective reaction to the increase in on-grid segment, building-mounted and ground-mounted systems backed by specific government initiatives.
Conversely, the off-grid rural segment constitutes India’s largest PV market regardless of problems facing the government’s incentive programs.
This global growth of PV’s market size results displays a fact that with governments’ support programs, funding and incentives together with the cooperation from the private sectors, more homes and industries will unquestionably experience solar energy advantages. The growth is yet another good indication that traditional power consumers’ awareness on these advantages is actually growing. Along with futher advancement of the PV technology, solar power systems will finally become a little more cost-effective to average consumers.