A market research company called Solarbuzz said that worldwide photovoltaic (PV) installations produced 6.43 gigawatts in 2009.

The PV industy generated $38 billion globally, and raised over $13.5 billion in equity.

Europe took the lead. European countries accounted for 74 percent of world demand with Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic the top three countries. Those three alone accounted for 4.07 gigawatts out 4.75 gigawatts for the region.

The Spanish market collapsed - in 2009 it generated only four percent of the installs in 2008.

The third biggest market in the world is the USA - it grew by 36 percent to generate 485 megawatts, while Japan grew by 109 percent year on year.

Manufacturing of solar cells amounted to a consolidated figure of 9.34 gigawatts in 2009, up from 6.85 gigawatts the year before. Of that total thin film production accounted for 18 percent.

China and Taiwan account for 49 percent of global manufacturing. The top seven polysilicon manufacturers reached 114,500 tons of capacity in 2009, up by 92 percent, while the top eight wafer manufacturers took 32.9 percent of global wafer capacity.

Solarbuzz predicts that the industry will reach high growth this year and over the next five years. Cautiously, the worldwide market will be 2.5 times it size by 2014. Optimistically, annual industry revenues will be near $100 billion in 2014.