Different countries are different, so have a look into different countries.
A incredible dynamic in the growth of PV-installationsFifteen years ago, the USA was the leader in PV-installations. In the year 1996, Japan became the leader but in 2005 another change at the top happened, Germany, supporting PV with high subsidies, took the leadership. But the PV-market has a very high dynamic and in 2011 Italy installed already more PV-panels than Germany. This race is interesting, but not the core of the global chance in the PV market. Lets have a look at the growth rate itself:
The growth rate is growing with 3% per year!
If we plot the growth rate between two years, we find an astonishing plot. Beginning in the mid ninety's, the growth rate was about 20% per year. And sometimes I have the feeling, many people have adapted this and believe in a moderate growth of PV. The last 15 year show a very different picture. The growth rate itself was growing. And a simple linear approximation results in a slope of 2.9 percent points (absolute!) per year, resulting in an approximated growth of the PV installation 2011 compared to 2010 of 67% (the actual value was even higher with 76%)
Reasons for the PV Growth
This mind-blowing effect is not widely anticipated. The reason for this effect is not longer the high subsidies of German PV-installation, the reason is, more and more countries start installing PV at a very high rate, as the first graph shows. And the reason behind this is, that many countries have much more sun as Germany combined with the hard drop of PV-prices. This results in an unprecedented dynamic, higher market volume results in higher production rate, higher production volume results in lower prices due to a learning curve.
The learning curve tells us, if we double the production, the price will fall about 20%. The dropping price opens more markets, if the price is below the power price at the consumer, he will install PV soon.
Where will this growth end, this is not clear, but I will write about that topic soon.