Asia-Pacific solar revenues to reach $11.1 billion by 2016


In its new report, Solar Power Markets in Asia-Pacific, Frost & Sullivan states that solar revenues in the region will rise from over $7.6 billion in 2011, to more than $11.11 billion by 2016.

In addition to falling photovoltaic prices, favorable government policies and incentives are said to have boosted large-scale investments in solar projects, particularly in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

In Japan, the introduction of a FIT this summer is predicted to boost the country’s solar market development by 20% this year. In terms of revenues, Frost & Sullivan expects it to lead the way between 2012 and 2016.

Overall, photovoltaics is the leading solar technology in the region – comprising 99.9% of market revenues – due to its perceived low cost. "Vigorously" implemented policies in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam are also said to be driving photovoltaic growth.

While concentrated solar power (CSP) is still not currently thought to be a viable option in Asia-Pacific, with CSP project proposals being replaced with photovoltaic alternatives, by 2020, it is forecast that the technology will be competitive.

"Countries with high direct normal irradiance (DRI) like Australia, Thailand, and Malaysia can expect CSP to be a competitive source of power by 2020. This will only be possible with long term funding for research and development, along with the introduction of more support schemes," said Frost & Sullivan in a statement released.

Looking at the manufacturing landscape, the analysts believe that both European and U.S. manufacturers are being attracted to Asia-Pacific, again due to the favorable governmental support, as they look to new markets to sell their products.

In the region itself, they said several original equipment manufacturers have suffered "heavy losses" on the back of price declines. As such, there seems to be a move by the module manufacturers to merge with polysilicon producers, or to diversify their operations.

"Focus on better efficiency and productivity is crucial for module producers’ market sustenance, since several low-cost Chinese products are expected to flood the Asia-Pacific market," stated research analyst Subha Krishnan. "Supply chain participants must develop new technologies that integrate large PVs into flexible and efficient grids to enable these systems to mature into the mainstream."