The total solar photovoltaic demand from the five leading Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets – China, Japan, India, Australia and Thailand – is forecast to reach 17.2 GW during the second half of this year (2H'14), almost 60% of global solar PV demand, according to a new report from NPD Solarbuzz.
While the APAC region as a whole has seen solar growth, 95% of the demand this year is coming from the top five countries, the report says.
According to NPD Solarbuzz, seasonally strong demand from China is responsible for the majority of gains in the APAC region during 2H'14. About 80% of PV demand in China is forecast to come from ground-mounted projects. At the same time, the commercial rooftop market segment is experiencing slower growth than the government had hoped for. China's National Energy Administration has recently announced new policies to support development of distributed generation PV projects, especially rooftop projects.
In Japan, PV demand is forecast to exceed 5 GW in 2H'14 due to a range of factors, including qualified land resources, financing and grid connectivity. The pipeline of approved PV projects stands at 59 GW, NPD Solarbuzz reports.
‘Falling PV system costs, together with high feed-in tariff rates, continue to provide attractive PV project economics within the Japanese PV market,’ says Holly Hu, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. ‘While the Japanese government reviews the progress of the approved project pipeline, PV installations will continue to accelerate quickly during the next few quarters.’
India, Australia and Thailand, meanwhile, are experiencing greater challenges, NPD Solarbuzz says. The Indian government recently opened the bidding process for PV projects, under the country's National Solar Mission Phase II Batch II; however, uncertainties have delayed solar PV demand for the past six months, Hu says.
Annual demand from Australia and Thailand is forecast to decline this year, in part because of pending renewable-energy policy changes and investor uncertainty. At the same time, a year-end boost is expected in the large-scale ground-mount segment in Australia, NPD Solarbuzz says.
More countries in Southeast Asia outside the top five are starting to develop solar PV capabilities, including the Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan.
For more information about the NPD Solarbuzz Asia-Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly, click here.