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Global Solar PV Demand To Hit 31 GW In 2013, Report Forecasts

Global solar photovoltaic (PV) demand is set to advance by two gigawatts (GW) to 31GW in 2013 compared to the previous year, thanks in part to firm Chinese demand, a new report suggests.

NPD Solarbuzz projects that world PV consumption will rise by 7% on a year over year basis, with China overtaking Germany for the top spot in PV demand. The report also said 83% of the world’s PV demand will come from the top ten markets global markets.

Image Credit: Energy for Tomorrow via Shutterstock

Image Credit: Energy for Tomorrow via Shutterstock

“2013 will represent another transition year, as the PV industry adjusts to softness across legacy European markets,” according to senior NPD Solarbuzz analyst Michael Barker.

“The Chinese end-market will largely compensate for the downturn in demand from Germany, which previously led PV demand,” he said.

Much of the 2 GW increase will come from strong demand from the Asian Pacific markets, with a 50% year over year increase, thanks to China, India, and Japan providing 11 GW of solar PV demand.

Image Credit:  Geographic Breakdown of Global PV Demand in 2013 via NPD Solarbuzz

Image Credit: Breakdown of 2013 Solar PV Demand via NPD Solarbuzz

Barker also suggest declining prices for solar PV systems, competitive rates due to higher electricity prices, and increasing renewable energy standards will also provide some continuous solar PV demand.

Asia’s strength will make up for Europe’s weakness, as the region is expected to see a 26% year over year drop to 12 GW installed capacity, thanks to declining incentives.

Emerging Markets: Future Room for Solar PV Growth

While traditional solar markets have been the backbone for solar PV markets, future growth could come from emerging regions, including Latin America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.

Emerging markets in 2013 only make up 8% of the total PV market. However, that is expected to reach 16% by 2017.

To give you an example of further potential of emerging market PV potential, in 2011, Mexico had just 37 MW of total installed PV capacity. However, laws passed in the Mexican legislature aim to have energy generation from renewables reach 35% by 2024. With 70% of the nation having insolation values more than 4.5 kWh/m2 /day, higher than most parts of solar giants Germany and Spain, Mexico could certainly be a future powerhouse in solar energy.

Overall, the trend seen with the NPD report shows continued strong growth in solar demand, despite weakness in Europe. If the trend of future growth of potential emerging markets like Mexico hold their ground, those 31 GW installed of solar energy this year are a sign of things to come.

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Written By

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business


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