* PV mkt could grow by up to 30 gigawatts in 2014 -EPIA
* U.S. could overtake Germany as No.1 market in 2014 -EPIA
* German mkt could be up to 4.5 gigawatts in 2010 -EPIA
FRANKFURT, May 4 (Reuters) - The global photovoltaic market could grow by up to 12.7 gigawatts in 2010, up 76 percent from last year, the world’s largest industry association said, adding Germany would remain the No.1 single solar market until 2014.
In Germany, total new installation could rise to 4.5 gigawatts this year, having reached a record 3.8 gigawatts last year, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) said in its global market outlook published on Tuesday.
Those estimates slightly undershoot bullish views from industry leaders such as Frank Asbeck, chief executive of SolarWorld SWVG.DE — Germany’s largest solar company by revenue — and government estimates that see the market at or above 5 gigawatts this year. [ID:nLDE62H0ZF], [ID:nWEB7310]
Brussels-based EPIA groups more than 200 member companies, including German players Q-Cells QCEG.DE, Phoenix Solar PS4G.DE and SolarWorld, Norway’s Renewable Energy Corp (REC.OL) and U.S.-based SunPower SPWRA.O.
Estimates for Germany are closely watched as cuts in solar subsidies are to be implemented from July onwards, leading to ballooning demand as customers want to benefit from higher incentives for solar systems before they get slashed. [ID:nLDE63L2MT]
However, EPIA indicated large cuts in feed-in tariffs (FiTs) — the solar sector’s lifeline until grid parity, the point at which solar power costs the same as fossil-fuel generated energy, has been reached — were a risk to the industry.
“A substantial decrease could jeopardise the development of the German industry, shifting the market to non-European low-cost manufacturers and destroying jobs by thousands in the German industry,” EPIA said.
EPIA usually provides an estimate range based on what it calls a “moderate” scenario — assuming that markets basically remain the same — and a “policy-driven” scenario describing a very favourable development of the industry.
Under a moderate scenario, growth in the United States — where the Obama administration is set to boost spending for renewable energy — could be 600 megawatts in 2010 and 3 gigawatts in 2014.
In a policy-driven scenario, the United States could become the world’s largest solar market in 2014 as U.S. growth reaches 6 gigawatts for the year, more than the 5.5 gigawatts expected for Germany. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz)