By December 2010, global installed capacity for PV had reached around 40 GW of which 85% grid connected and remaining 15% off-grid (REN21,

2010) . This market is currently dominated by crystalline silicon-based PV cells, which accounted for more than 80% of the market in 2010. The remainder of the market almost entirely consists of thin film technologies that use cells made by directly depositing a photovoltaic layer on a sup­porting substrate.

Rest of the


Подпись: Total Installed Capacity |GW|

China; 2


Japan; 9%


Подпись: Solar Energy: Application, Economics, and Public Perceptio

United States; 6%





Other EU; 7%


Czech Republic;



Italy; 9 %




Spain; 10 %


(a) Trend of global installed capacity


(b) Country share in the global installation in 2010


Source: REN21,2011


FIGURE 2: Total Installed Capacity of PV at the Global Level



As illustrated in Figure 2b, a handful of countries dominate the mar­ket for PV. However, a number of countries are experiencing a significant market growth. Notably, Czech Republic had installed nearly 2 GW of solar PV by December 2010 (REN21, 2011), up from almost zero in 2008. India had a cumulative installed PV capacity of 102 MW (EPIA, 2011) and China had a cumulative capacity of 893 MW at the end of 2010.

Two types of PV systems exist in the markets: grid connected or cen­tralized systems and off-grid or decentralized systems. The recent trend is strong growth in centralized PV development with installations that are over 200 kW, operating as centralized power plants. The leading markets for these applications include Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States. After exhibiting poor growth for a number of years, annual installations in the Spanish market have grown from about 4.8 MW in 2000 to approxi­mately 950 MW at the end of 2007 (PVRES 2007) before dropping to 17 MW in 2009 and bouncing back to around 370 MW in 2010 (EPIA, 2011). The off-grid applications (e. g., solar home systems) kicked off an earlier wave of PV commercialization in the 1970s, but in recent years, this mar­ket has been overtaken by grid-connected systems. While grid-connected systems dominate in the OECD countries, developing country markets, led by India and China, presently favor off-grid systems. This trend could be a reflection of their large rural populations, with developing countries adopting an approach to solar PV that emphasizes PV to fulfill basic de­mands for electricity that are unmet by the conventional grid.