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Major Asia Pacific Markets To Account For 60% Of PV Demand

Yesterday NPD Solarbuzz analyst Michael Barker wrote a blog post looking out towards the year 2018, determining that global solar PV demand is being driven hard by major Asia Pacific markets — specifically India, China, and Japan, and including the United Kingdom (a non Asia Pacific country) but excluding Australia (a major Asia Pacific country).

Today, NPD Solarbuzz have released their latest Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly report, and the figures are looking healthy for the region in the near-term as well, with five leading Asia Pacific regions expected to reach 17.2 GW during the second half of 2014.

China, Japan, India, Australia, and Thailand are expected to lead demand during 2H’14, accounting for almost 60% of global solar PV demand, according to figures in the report.

“China, Japan, India, Australia, and Thailand are forecast to rank in the top 10 global PV markets,” explains NPD Solarbuzz senior analyst Ray Lian, also noting that 95% of 2014 demand in the Asia Pacific region is coming from these top five countries. “China and Japan are dominating demand, with about half of all new PV capacity added this year.”

Solar PV Demand Forecast for the APAC Region

solar PV demand 2h14

As is clear from the graphic above, Japan and China are most assuredly accounting for the majority of demand forecast for the Asia Pacific region.

Odd Inclusions

At first glance, and given recent political decision-making, Australia’s inclusion in these figures seems somewhat anomalous. However, the country’s role in these figures is relatively incidental — included simply because Australia is a major Asia Pacific country, despite impacting the numbers very little.

According to NPD Solarbuzz, demand in both Australia and Thailand is set to decline during 2014, thanks to “pending renewable-energy policy changes and investor uncertainty” — a point I’ve been making for several months now. However, NPD Solarbuzz add that “a year-end boost is expected in the large-scale ground-mount segment in Australia” thanks to projects at Nyngan and Broken Hill in the state of New South Wales.

Major Markets

As we’ve seen over the past year, China is well and above one of the major solar PV markets, thanks to a strong at-home manufacturing process and equivalent demand, but Japan is making good on their own promises as well.

NPD Solarbuzz noted that seasonally strong demand is responsible for the majority of China’s share gains in the region, with approximately 80% of solar PV demand in China coming from ground-mounted projects, and the country’s rooftop market segment experiencing slower-than-hoped for growth.

Japan’s actual demand is expected to exceed 5 GW in the second half of 2014, despite having a pipeline of approved PV projects sitting close to 60 GW.

“Falling PV system costs, together with high feed-in tariff rates, continue to provide attractive PV project economics within the Japanese PV market,” according to Holly Hu, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “While the Japanese government reviews the progress of the approved project pipeline, PV installations will continue to accelerate quickly, during the next few quarters.”

Indian Challenges

We’ve already seen that India’s future is up in the air, after yesterday’s news that the country could very well re-design their future solar PV roll-out as soon as next month. According to NPD Solarbuzz India has its own challenges that it is facing.

“The Indian government recently opened the bidding process for PV projects, under the country’s National Solar Mission Phase II Batch II; however, policy uncertainties have delayed solar PV demand in India for the past six months,” Hu said. “On a positive note, the Indian government recently avoided potential problems that may have arisen if anti-dumping duties had been imposed on imported Chinese silicon-based PV modules.”

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