Analysis from Frost & Sullivan says competitiveness of solar photovoltaic power due to continuous technological innovations and efficiency improvements leading to lower costs per watt spurs the Asian PV materials market. This market earned revenues of $1.94 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $4.80 billion in 2018, the report says.
‘Japan and China are likely to surpass European countries in terms of PV installations after 2015, lending strong momentum to the Asian PV materials market,’ says Balasubramaniam Ramani, senior consultant for chemicals and materials at Frost & Sullivan.
China, Taiwan, and Japan together account for over 70% of the global solar PV cell or module production, the report says. According to Frost & Sullivan, the close relationship between module manufacturers and material suppliers improves the material suppliers' insight into the market and ensures timely delivery, as well as enhanced product offerings.
At the same time, the tightening of incentive policies has slowed down the solar sector and, in turn, the PV materials market, Frost & Sullivan says. Sudden changes in government support plans can harm the industry, as the uncertainty deters both investors and manufacturers. As a result, Frost & Sullivan expects the PV materials market in Asia to witness only moderate growth between 2012 and 2015.
‘However, the period between 2015 and 2020 is likely to be a phase of rapid growth primarily due to the likely shift of backsheet production expected – the only segment where the move from European countries to Asia is yet to occur,’ Ramani says.