APAC to account for 11 GW of PV demand

Overall, the research company predicts that worldwide photovoltaic demand will grow 2 GW in 2013 to reach 31 GW. Ground-mounted installations will comprise 45% of this. While Europe’s share is expected to decline from 16.48 GW in 2012, to 12 GW this year, APAC should see growth from 8.69 GW to over 11 GW, led by China, Japan and India.

As already widely reported, China is expected to overtake Germany in 2013 to become the leading country in terms of newly installed photovoltaic capacity. NPD Solarbuzz adds that the top 10 territories – China, Germany, North America, Japan, Italy, India, Australia, France, Greece, and the U.K. – are predicted to account for 83% of total demand.

Lead analyst of the Marketbuzz 2013 report, Michael Barker further expects 2013 to represent another transition year for the photovoltaic industry, as it "adjusts to softness across legacy European markets."

Barker adds that installed photovoltaic system prices will continue their decline. Photovoltaics will also become "increasingly cost competitive across regions with high electricity rates, shortages in domestic supply, and growing renewable obligations to fulfill."

Talk of growing demand from emerging markets, including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia has been rife for the past two years. NPD Solarbuzz doesn’t expect them to make a real impact on the global stage until 2014, however.

This year, they are forecast to comprise under 8% of demand. By 2017, this should have increased two-fold. South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Israel, and Mexico are expected to lead growth.

Meanwhile, supply chain fragmentation is likely to continue due to such factors as trade barriers. "Micro-environments" will be created, says Barker, due to both "global trade wars and excessive local manufacturing capacity levels."

While ground-mount installations are expected to drive growth, market share for residential photovoltaic installations are forecast to be above 20% in Japan, Germany, Australia, Italy, and the U.K. "These five countries will account for three-quarters of all residential PV installations this year, which highlights a broad geographic pull and emphasizes the continued importance of distributed generation," concludes NPD Solarbuzz.