Read More About Solar Power: “New Age Powers Its Hose & Tube Manufacturing By the Sun”

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Europe continues to dominate the world”s growing solar photovoltaic (PV) market, accounting for two thirds of all new solar power capacity installed during 2011, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources.

Europe saw 18,500-megawatts (MW) of new solar power capacity installed last year, bringing its PV total to 52,000 MW. Comprehensive figures from the European Commission”s (E.C.”s) Joint Research Centre (JRC) show that over the past 10 years, the PV industry in Europe has grown by an average of over 40 percent per year while production costs have decreased by around 60 percent. The 2012 Photovoltaics Status Report study shows that Germany, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom (U.K.) are the leaders in installed PV capacity in Europe.

The JRC found that, for the second year in a row, solar power was the renewable energy that attracted most investment, with a total of €98.5 billion ($128 billion) worldwide, of which two thirds was concentrated in Europe.

Europe may lead the world today but it”s position is under threat, especially from China, where the JRC noted that China”s massive investment in PV manufacturing has led to an economy of scale in manufacturing, reports Industrial Info. The study shows that most rapid growth in annual solar power production over the last five years was observed in Asia, where China alone accounts for more than 50 percent of the world”s PV production.