PV Demand in the Asia Pacific Region to Reach 13.5 GW in 2013, Reports NPD Solarbuzz

Leading PV Countries in Asia Pacific Starting to Exhibit Diverse Market-Entry Conditions

Santa Clara, Calif., February 13, 2013— Solar photovoltaic (PV) demand from the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is forecast to grow to 13.5 GW in 2013, growing 50% Y/Y, according to the NPD Solarbuzz Q1'13 Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly report.


China, Japan, India, and Australia remain dominant for PV demand in the APAC region, and they will account for 90% of APAC demand in 2013. However, discrete end-market demand environments are now evolving in each of these countries. As a result, PV suppliers and technologies are being selected in each territory based upon factors such as domestic manufacturing, policies, import duties, and customer preferences.

"Having a single go-to-market strategy to meet growing PV demand across the entire APAC region is no longer viable," stated Chris Sunsong, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. "Leading APAC countries are now evolving into micro-climates that create customized supply channels. Suppliers are being forced to pick and choose the countries and application segments that overlap with their product portfolios and corporate strategies. Quarterly cycles also continue to define PV demand, reflecting the effects of policy deadlines and weather-related seasonality."

In Australia, the elimination of the Solar Credit Multiplier, along with incentive reductions in Victoria and Queensland, will slow PV growth during 2013. In Japan, demand will peak during Q1'13, ahead of scheduled tariff reductions in April.

The Chinese government will likely re-adjust the goals of its 12th Five-Year Solar Development Plan, and the country will see over 75% of its 7 GW demand in 2013 occur in 2H'13. However, it is crucial that any changes to the feed-in-tariff rates drive PV developers to complete their projects earlier in the year, thus avoiding the dramatic year-end demand swings experienced in the past.

In India, the final version of Phase II of the National Solar Mission program is still pending. The country could see a capacity increase from 3.7 to 9 GW, with an increased focus on the off-grid and rooftop sectors.

The threat of further trade wars involving APAC countries, along with other import restrictions, is segmenting the APAC region into country and application-specific markets. Domestic content restrictions on imported modules into India may strongly affect c-Si supply from China or any thin-film imports to India.

The APAC region is becoming more selective about technologies. In Japan, high-efficiency modules have become the preferred technology for locations with constrained space. In China, domestically manufactured multi c-Si modules are satisfying ground-mounted requirements. And in India, 1 GW of new demand will come from rooftop projects under Phase II of the National Solar Mission, which could further shrink this key market for thin-film suppliers.

"There are various factors driving overall PV demand across the APAC region, but each country is still subject to a number of risk factors," added Sunsong. "For example, the Chinese and Indian markets are constrained by bank financing and grid accessibility, and Australia remains vulnerable to future policy shocks."

For more information about the NPD Solarbuzz Q1'13 Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly report, contact us at one of our seven global locations, email us at contact@solarbuzz.com, or call Charles Camaroto at 1.516.625.2452 for more information.

About NPD Solarbuzz
NPD Solarbuzz, part of The NPD Group, offers Marketbuzz, Solarbuzz Quarterly, and annual downstream photovoltaic (PV) market reports, providing the solar energy and PV industries with global historical and forecast data for the PV supply chain. For more information, visit www.solarbuzz.com or follow us on Twitter at @Solarbuzz.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, visit npd.com and npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.

Featured Product

WS510 Secondary Standard

WS510 Secondary Standard

In the monitoring of large photovoltaic (Utility Scale), in assessing potential sites (Solar-assessment), or in up and coming electricity cost saving initiatives projects (Commercial & Industrial), the WS510 now provides the market a secondary standard pyranometer, ultrasonic wind speed, ultrasonic wind direction, temperature, pressure and humidity all in a single unit.. This sensor meets the high demands of the world meteorological organization (WMO) through the active valving at air temperature measurement and the inertia- and maintenance-free measurement of wind speed and wind direction on the ultrasonic principle. Equipped with a Kipp & Zonen pyranometer of the secondary standards, the WS510-UMB Compact weather sensor from Lufft unites the precision of a variety of meteorological individual sensors in a single all-in-one device, for the first time.