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IHS: 2013 global PV installations to top 35GW

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PV installation? photovoltaic? solar?

IHS has forecasted that the global photovoltaic (PV) installations will surpass 35GW this year, equivalent to growth of 12 per cent. The market research firm also reaffirmed its earlier prediction that global PV installations exceeded 30GW in 2012, with final analysis showing that installations, in fact, grew 14 per cent to reach 31.4GW last year.

The findings and the latest PV demand projections for 2013 and beyond were recently issued by the IHS solar team. Contrary to many other more pessimistic predictions for the industry, IHS foresees the PV industry to continue along its double-digit growth path in 2013 and to exceed 35GW for the first time.

"We often see quite pessimistic forecasts at the start of each year for PV installations, due to a seasonal slowdown and talks of major incentive cuts as Europe reassesses its PV policy typically after yet another year of record growth," said Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS. "However, our analysis of more than 60 countries around the world shows that demand outside of Europe will more than compensate for the fall in the continent, and installations will go on at any rate to hit 35GW this year."

Asia surged in 4Q12 and installed more than 4GW during the period, an amount close to half the global total. Asia's importance to the global PV market is predicted to continue, according to IHS, and Asia in 2013 will become the largest region for PV installations for the first time in 10 years. PV installations in Asia are forecast to grow to 15GW this year, in the process exceeding Europe, which is predicted to drop to 13GW.

For the China market, however, IHS is less optimistic than others on likely installations for that country this year:

"We predict China will install at least 6GW of new PV capacity this year," noted Sharma. "This is some way lower than the 10GW figure that has been widely circulated around the industry as China's target for 2013. The continued issue of grid-connecting megawatt-scale PV projects, as well as delays in developers receiving FIT payments, is likely to hold back China from installing more this year. Even so, a dwindling European market and restrictions on Chinese modules could well drive higher domestic installations."

While Europe accounted for 70 per cent of PV installations in 2011, IHS found that this fell to 57 per cent in 2012 and is predicted to slide further to 37 per cent in 2013, especially as the region becomes outflanked by Asia. Almost all of Europe's so-called mature PV markets are predicted to decline in 2013a development forecast to take place despite bright spots of growth in countries such as the U.K., Turkey and the Netherlands. As a result, IHS predicts that installations in Europe will fall from 18GW in 2012 to 13GW in 2013.

"While hopes in the past could have been pinned on Germany or Italywhich accounted for nearly two-thirds of European installations in 2012growth here looks impossible," Sharma said. "Changes to Germany's EEG and Italy's Conto Energia are already in place, and a contraction in these two big markets is predicted in 2013. Moreover, looming antidumping measures against Chinese manufacturers are taking their toll on Europe, resulting in price increases and additional registration paperwork that will further temper solar demand this year."

Despite Europe's dramatic decline in 2013, IHS maintains that double-digit growth will occur again in global installations. Growth rates of 250 per cent, 50 per cent and 65 per cent are forecast for Middle-East & Africa, Americas and Asia respectively, supporting global growth, but continuing the industry's geographic fragmentation.

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