Customized PV strategy required for APAC region

According to NPD SolarbuzzÂ’s Q1 2013 Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly report, photovoltaic demand will reach 13.5 GW in 2013. Accounting for 90%, China, Japan, India and Australia are expected to lead the way.

However, analyst Chris Sunsong says that discrete end market demand environments are evolving in these four countries, meaning that companies must tailor their strategies to the local market.

"Having a single go-to-market strategy to meet growing PV demand across the entire APAC region is no longer viable," explained Sunsong. "Leading APAC countries are now evolving into micro-climates that create customized supply channels. Suppliers are being forced to pick and choose the countries and application segments that overlap with their product portfolios and corporate strategies."

He added that such factors as domestic manufacturing, policies, import duties, and customer preferences are influencing the selection of both photovoltaic suppliers and technologies.

Meanwhile, markets are also said to be becoming more selective about technologies. In Japan, for example, high efficiency modules are favored, while in China, domestically manufactured multi-crystalline modules are said to dominate and in India rooftop demand could see a move away from thin film technology.

Overall, NPD Solarbuzz expects photovoltaic growth to slow in Australia in 2013 following the removal of the Solar Credit Multiplier and various incentive reductions. The country "remains vulnerable to future policy shocks," added Sunsong.

Demand in Japan is forecast to peak in Q1, ahead of tariff reductions and, in China, three quarters of the anticipated 7 GW of demand is expected to be seen in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, in India, predictions are that focus will shift to off-grid and rooftop applications, with installed capacity increases of over 5 GW possible.

Financing and grid accessibility have been identified by NPD Solarbuzz as risk factors in both China and India.