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Asia Pacific PV markets grow 85% in 2010

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:photovoltaic? solar energy? PV market?

Asia Pacific photovoltaic (PV) markets will contribute significantly to the global market in 2010, according to market analyst Solarbuzz.

According to the analyst's report on Asia and Pacific Major PV Markets 2010, the emerging markets of China, India, South Korea and Australia, together with the long established Japanese market, contributed 0.9GW of installations in 2009, or 12 percent of world demand. After a policy-led reduction in demand in South Korea last year, all five of these country markets are expected to return to growth in 2010.

"Japan is set for very strong growth in 2010 with clearly set out new incentives for photovoltaics," said Craig Stevens, president of Solarbuzz. "The expectations for China and India remain high. However, their challenge will be to translate their long pipeline of projects, now just on paper, into reality through government incentive policies that are certain and at a level high enough to attract financing."

Japan initiatives feed growth
For the first time in three years, the Japan market showed a significant increase in 2009. The domestic market more than doubled in 2009 to 477MW as a result of the re-launch of a nationwide residential incentive program and the introduction of a Japanese version of a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) during the year. The FIT was originally planned to launch from April 2010, but to further accelerate the deployment of the domestic PV market, the government pushed it forward and started the program in November 2009. And, as of December 2009, over 400 regional governments (prefecture, city, town or village) offered residential PV support programs, including subsidies, loans, utility buy-back schemes and further assistance through utility Green Power Funds.

China grows 552% y-on-y
With the help of Solar Rooftops and Golden Sun programs in mid-2009, the PV market in China experienced strong growth, achieving 228MW in 2009, y-on-y growth of 552 percent. The growth was driven by the emergence of a significant on-grid segment, building-mounted and ground-mounted systems supported by specific government programs, with the largest provincial markets being Ningxia and Jiangsu. Specifically, on-grid building-mounted segments rose from a 33 percent market share in 2008 to 88 percent in 2009. As of June 2010, a total of 95 listed projects that are under development with National Energy Administration approval totaled 18.6GW with more tender bids pending.

Off-grid rural rules in India
The India PV market grew 22 percent y-on-y, reaching 44MW in 2009, a figure that was below expectations, reflecting the lack of success of incentive programs. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released its National Solar Mission, outlining planned growth of the PV market to 20-22GW by 2022. The global financial crisis had a moderate affect upon government funds allocation, and the 2010 national elections slowed several government bureaus to a halt, delaying procurement and distribution activities. Nonetheless, the project pipeline stands at 4.9GW as of June 2010.

South Korea market plummets
South Korea's PV market shrank 65 percent, from 276MW in 2008 falling to 98MW in 2009. With over half of the aggregate 500MW program cap reserved in just the first few months of launch for a program initially designed to ramp up steadily through 2011, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) was forced to establish an annual installation cap, causing a collapse in installations. Also, September 2009 saw the FIT rates adjusted downward for the 2010-2011 period to reflect falling module prices and to encourage greater numbers of smaller, building-mounted systems.

Residential drives Australia growth
Consumer demand in the residential sector pushed Australia's PV market to grow 222 percent Y/Y in 2009, to 74MW. Specifically, 80 percent of all capacity installed was for on-grid residential use. Since most of Australia's electricity is produced with cheap coal, PV market growth in the country has been steady, rather than explosive. The Australia government revised its Solar Flagships program, aiming to commission 150MW of PV power by 2015. In addition, every region has, or will have, a PV-specific FIT or net-metering policy in 2010.

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