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Asia Pacific Solar PV Market Set To Reach 10 GW Q4’14

After a long absence after its recent acquisition at the hands of IHS, Solarbuzz has reappeared with its latest Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly report, forecasting the Asia Pacific region to reach the 10 GW mark for the first time in this last quarter of 2014.

Annual solar demand in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is expected to grow 19% year-over-year, driven primarily by a rush of installation in China after a slow first-three quarters, as well as strong growth in Japan.

China has proven a disappointing market this year, against all expectations, installing only 3.79 GW so far this year. However, as Isabela Ni, china analyst for Solarbuzz, commented, “a year-end surge of installations, even after three weak quarters, full-year PV demand in China will exceed its 2013 level.”

Taiwanese-based EnergyTrend recently published its forecast for 2014, and also pointed to China’s relatively lacklustre year so far (compared to expectations), highlighting the work of the US and Japan in making up for China’s lost ground.

Across the Sea of Japan, PV demand is forecast to grow 46% year-over-year in 2014, thanks to a range of issues including favourable government incentives. Impressively, Japan’s project pipelines reached more than 56 GW through the end of Q3’14, providing strong support to the Japanese PV market.

“Since the end of Q3’14, five regional utilities in Japan announced suspension of replies for non-residential projects; however, these issues will not significantly impact PV demand in Japan through 2015,” said Holly Hu, Japan and India analyst at Solarbuzz.

Solar PV Demand Shares by Region in Japan in 2014


Growth is also expected in other Asia Pacific countries, including India, Australia, and Thailand. In India, the Minister of New and Renewable Energy has proposed increasing the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission target from 22 GW to 100 GW by 2022.

“India may become the most exciting PV market in APAC region during the next several years,” Hu said. “Since the new Prime Minister Narendra Modii came on board, the government of India has announced many ambitious solar PV development plans.”

Solarbuzz also mentioned the situation in Australia, where the country’s Renewable Energy Target is still being debated and negotiated. Solarbuzz believes that Australian residential installations are driving PV demand in the fourth quarter to their highest levels.

According to data provided by the Australian Photovoltaic Institute, Australia has surpassed 4 GW of rooftop solar PV in the country, just days after the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that one-in-five houses has rooftop solar.

Australia’s ground-mount segment is also increasing, thanks in part to construction of three large-scale, ground-mount projects.

“The new China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which potentially may resolve the trade dispute with China on PV panels, is also good news for the Australia PV market,” Ni said.

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