Indonesia set to challenge Thailand in PV stakes

01. November 2012 | Markets & Trends, Industry & Suppliers | By:  Max Hall

Indonesia, with its thousands of scattered islands and consequent off-grid photovoltaics demand, is set to challenge the traditional dominance of Thailand in the South East Asian region over the next four years, according to a report by IMS Research.

A solar photovoltaic park in Thailand.

Traditional South East Asia PV player Thailand is set to be challenged by Indonesia.

The PV Market in South East Asia report, which also considers Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines, predicts that almost 5 GW of installed photovoltaic capacity will be added by 2016, with nearly 1 GW cropping up across Indonesia.

"Given its substantial and quickly growing need for electricity, the small amount of the population that currently have access to electricity, and its reliance on diesel generators on its thousands of islands, PV is an highly attractive solution for providing distributed electricity sources in Indonesia," stated IMS Research's Jessica Jin.

Installed capacity is predicted to grow 50% annually for the next five years, with 1 GW expected to be online by 2015. Furthermore, while the region accounts for less than 1% of global photovoltaic capacity today, it is forecast to rise fourfold by 2016.

Thailand was the fifth largest market in Asia this year – behind China, Japan, India and Australia – thanks largely to its adder scheme, which has encouraged several large-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic installations. 2013 will see the introduction of a new scheme aimed more at rooftop systems: this is forecast to result in a 25% reduction in market share for utility-scale installations in the country.

Although the opportunities presented by South East Asia will be attractive for beleaguered European companies, currently the five largest photovoltaic module suppliers to the region are Chinese or Japanese, with the majority of large system integrators based locally.

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