According to the latest photovoltaic (PV) market analysis fromSolarbuzz, an international solar energy market research and consultingcompany, nine countries are forecast to exceed 250 MW in 2010, up fromsix countries in 2009.
The high growth in these regions can beattributed to strong supportive government policy and consumer demand.These conclusions were based on the firm’s latest reports released thisweek: Asia Pacific Major PV Markets, European PV Markets and UnitedStates Grid Connect PV Market.
“PV demand growth in each majormarket region is being shaped by economic uncertainty, complex andfrequently changing government policies,” noted Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz. “Despite political and economic woes, PV supply is barely able to keep up with demand.”
"Set against the weak Europeaneconomic environment, the risk of future moderation of PV incentivepolicy around Europe will necessitate flexibility in corporate sales and marketing initiatives to handle changes in market mix," Stevens added.
Germany drives global solar market, whilegrowth in Italy, Czech Republic and France is promising
Germany continues to lead the global market in 2010. Despite this, impendingpolicy changes, including to two successive incentive tariff reductionsin the next seven months, will place growing emphasis on seeking outgrowth opportunities in other country markets over the next year. German policy makers are wrestling with how to bring the market under somelevel of effective control.
Despite the economic downturn, PVmarkets in Europe, such as Italy, the Czech Republic, Belgium andFrance, are forecast to grow strongly this year. Key to this, Italy,Czech Republic and France are forecast to generate some 3 Gigawatt (GW)of demand in 2010. Meanwhile, Spain is still reverberating fromcatastrophic PV policy adjustments over the last two years that continue to deteriorate.
Race to install 1 GW of PV
Italy, Czech Republic, United States, andpotentially even Japan are all capable of becoming just the thirdcountry to ever install 1 GW of PV in a single year. Recent key policyenhancements in Japan and the US have set the ground work forsignificant growth in these already substantial markets.
Thecomplex policy environment in the United States is driven by federal and state rebates, feed-in tariffs, tax incentives, net metering, grantsand other short-term funding through the American Recovery andReinvestment Act. These are combining to deliver a potential doubling in that market in 2010. In addition, utility-driven projects in California and other states with Renewable Portfolio Standards are creating thelargest market segment.
Emerging regions: China and India
PV project order books in China andIndia indicate that those two regions are well positioned to make amaterial contribution to global market growth over the next two years.Nearly 100 planned installations in China add up to an unrisked orderbook of 18.6 GW, while the Indian pipeline contributes a further 4.8 GW.
Solar companies are operating more vertical integration models in thestrategic markets, either through equity interest or via partnering. The ability to access sources of project financing remains key to successin most of the major markets.
On the supply side, Japanesemodule manufacturers are increasingly focused on their domestic market,able to access the utility net feed-in tariff and new residentialincentives. Distribution channels in that country are becoming morediversified, with new entrants like Yamada Denki and Toshiba starting to make their presence felt.