Article published on www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine on March, 12th 2013
Solar photovoltaic (PV) demand will increase by two gigawatts (GW), from 29 GW to 31 GW during 2013, up 7% Y/Y according to the new Marketbuzz 2013 published by NPD Solarbuzz (Santa Clara, Calif.).
For the first time, China will outpace Germany to become the leading PV market, while the top 10 PV territories will still account for 83% of global PV demand.
Another transition year
“2013 will represent another transition year, as the PV industry adjusts to softness across legacy European markets,” according to Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz.
“The Chinese end-market will largely compensate for the downturn in demand from Germany, which previously led PV demand.”
|Solarbuzz geographic breakdown of global PV demand in 2013|
Global shift in PV demand, return to double-digit growth expected
Due to further reductions in European premium incentives, demand in this region will fall to approximately 12 GW, which is a 26% Y/Y decline, Solarbuzz expects. In contrast, new policies across leading PV countries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, led by China, Japan, and India, will stimulate regional growth of over 50% and account for more than 11 GW of PV demand in 2013.
“In 2013, we expect to see improvement in the market fundamentals that enable PV demand to return to double-digit growth,” Barker said. “Installed-system prices will continue to fall, and PV will become increasingly cost competitive across regions with high electricity rates, shortages in domestic supply, and growing renewable obligations to fulfill.”
According to the NPD Solarbuzz report, new PV opportunities from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and other emerging regions will have a stronger impact on global demand from 2014 onwards.
Emerging regions are forecast to account for less than 8% of global demand during 2013; however, this market share is expected to double by 2017, driven primarily by South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Israel, and Mexico.
Fragmentation of the PV supply chain
Solarbuzz expects further fragmentation of the supply chain for PV modules and balance-of-systems components across a range of addressable markets due to shifts in geographic access, new and ongoing import trade barriers, and changes in PV application segments.
“Global trade wars and excessive local manufacturing capacity levels will create micro-environments for PV supply and demand, with each PV supplier serving only a subset of the 31 GW demand total,” Barker said.
Ground-Mount installations to dominate, residential PV market share to remain above 20%
Ground-mount installations due to Solarbuzz will dominate the market in 2013 with 45% of PV demand. These installations are being driven by policies that favor utility-based deployment. Strongly influenced by Japan, Germany, Australia, Italy, and the UK, overall market share for residential PV in 2013 will remain above 20%.
These five countries will account for three-quarters of all residential PV installations this year, which highlights a broad geographic pull and emphasizes the continued importance of distributed generation.