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China to become world's No.1 PV market

Posted: 18 Dec 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:photovoltaic industry  solar module  China  India  South Africa 

"The photovoltaic industry is in the midst of wrenching change—buffeted by government incentive cuts and nose-diving prices that has hurt solar suppliers worldwide, rocked by trade disputes among its major players, and hamstrung by a sputtering global economy," said Ash Sharma, director, solar research at IHS.

"However, there are some bright spots ahead: solar installations are on the rise, technology is becoming more efficient, and a weak EU market roiled by financial turmoil will be offset by an ascendant China and the United States."

The market research firm has announced Top 10 predictions for the global photovoltaic market in 2013.

1. The global PV market will achieve double-digit installation growth in 2013, but market revenue will fall to Rs.3.99 lakh crore ($75 billion). Industry revenues—measured as system prices multiplied by total gigawatts installed—peaked at Rs.5.00 lakh crore ($94 billion) in 2011, but fell sharply to Rs.4.10 lakh crore ($77 billion) in 2012. Revenue is projected to decline once again in 2013 to Rs.3.99 lakh crore ($75 billion), on the back of lower volume growth and continued system price declines, given that PV component prices continue to fall.

2. The solar module industry will consolidate further in 2013.As 2012 comes to a close, fewer than 150 companies will remain in the photovoltaic upstream value chain, down from more than 750 companies in 2010. Most of the consolidation will involve companies going out of business entirely. Many integrated players, particularly those based in China, will fold up shop in 2013. The large expense of building and then operating integrated facilities that are underutilised will be more than many can handle financially.

3. PV module prices will stabilise in 2H 2013 as oversupply eases. Despite a drastic decline in prices along the silicon supply chain since March 2011, solar prices will stabilise by mid-2013. Changes in market dynamics will help restore the global supply-demand balance.

4. Solar trade wars will rage on in 2013, yielding few winners. As of November 2012, there were six different solar trade cases proceeding involving China, Europe, the United States and India. This cycle of sanction and retaliation will not help solve the fundamental challenge of overcapacity plaguing the global PV industry.

5. South Africa and Romania will emerge as PV markets to watch in 2013. The two countries next year will expand from virtually no solar installations to capacity of several hundred megawatts. The PV uptake in both markets is driven by distinct factors. In South Africa, PV additions will mainly stem from the tenders awarded in 2012; in Romania, the growth driver will be a green certificate (GC) scheme that will stay in place until 2014.

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