The global solar power capacity is set for rapid growth. This was confirmed by the Secretary General of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) Reinhold Buttgereit who claims that solar power generating capacity will grow between 200% and 400% by 2016.
In numbers this means that the 2011 global solar power capacity of 69.7 GW will likely grow to between 207.9 GW and 342.8 GW in 2016.
The factor that will play the most important role in total rise of global solar power capacity is political support in form of incentives available to solar industry such as feed-in-tariffs. The fossil fuels still have edge in costs over solar energy and this is the reason why solar industry still requires favorable feed-in-tariffs.
Germany will very likely remain global solar energy leader but the fastest growth in installed solar power capacity is expected in China and India. Germany has decided to cut production incentives to solar power generation this year and this has slowed down the growth of country's photovoltaic market.
This year, the global solar power capacity is expected to rise to between 90 GW and 110 GW. In 2013 the expected growth in global solar power capacity is expected to be between 20.6 GW and 41.4 GW and should continue its growth by between 38.8 GW and 77.3 GW in 2016.
It also has to be said that the prices of solar equipment have continued their decline in 2012. This has not only improved the cost-competitiveness of solar energy technologies when compared to fossil fuels but has also prompted several governments to cut their incentives for solar power (Germany and Italy).