The amount of solar installed in Asia skyrocketed 165% to 6,000 megawatts, according to data now on the Solarbuzz website. See www.solarbuzz.com.
China alone installed 2,900 megawatts of solar in 2011, with 1,700 megawatts in just the 4th quarter. The USA too had a record solar year in 2011 and installed 1,700 to 2,000 megawatts, but China installed about 50% more solar than in the USA In 2011 China went from mostly manufacturing panels and exporting to installing large amounts of solar.
The global solar market is now a three-legged continental stool: Europe, Asia, North America in that order of importance Big American companies like GE, PPG, Air Products are part of the global solar supply chain and competing to sell their products around the world.
The boom in Chinese and Asian solar installation in 2011 insures further solar price declines and diversifies and grows global solar markets. It is a big deal and the Solarbuzz data are worth reviewing.