Are we witnessing the global solar industry at a turning point? According to the findings of the latest NPD Solarbuzz report, this is the bigger picture behind record PV demand from China and Japan, which is forecast to reach 9GW in the second half of 2013 – a 100 per cent increase on the first half of the year, and a 70 per cent jump year-on-year. The NPD Solarbuzz Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly also predicts PV demand from the Asia Pacific region will exceed 16GW during 2013 – a 90 per cent increase, year-on-year – and to account for over 40 per cent of global demand.
“The record level of PV shipments to China and Japan coincides with corporate margins returning to positive territory and the final shakeout phase of uncompetitive manufacturers nearing completion,” said Finlay Colville, vice president at NPD Solarbuzz. “Having entered 2013 with a highly cautious outlook, tier-one suppliers are poised to exit the year with restored confidence, ahead of optimistic shipment and margin guidance for 2014.”
Japan has been the biggest star of this year’s PV market, with 150 per cent y-o-y growth in 2013 compared to the prior calendar year and a forecast of over 5GW in the pipeline by mid-2014. As reported by Lenz Blog this week, 20.91GW of new solar for Japan was approved through May, up from 12.2GW in February – an achievement in league with recent German records. NPD Solarbuzz says Japanese demand is currently being driven by the commercial and utility segments, with a 65 per cent market share. Meanwhile, says the report, the other key markets of Australia and India are being affected by policy disruptions.