In its latest quarterly analysis of global PV installation demand, market research group IHS cut its estimate for Europe in the second half of 2013 by more than 1.3 GW, citing the anti-dumping tariffs that came into force on June 6.
The duties, along with several other factors, including changes to incentive systems, will result in a 33% fall to 11.6 GW in total European PV installations compared to 2012.
Despite the dramatic fall, however, IHS still predicts global installation growth this year at a double-digit rate to 35 GW, up 11% from 31 GW in 2012, due mainly to a surge in demand in Asia.
"Although the EU Commission has given a small window of opportunity by reducing the tariff to 11.8% for 60 days, IHS still expects dampened demand," said Ash Sharma, IHS senior director of solar research. "This decline comes in stark contrast to the sharp increase in module shipments from China as buyers stockpile ahead of the next tariff increase in August. As a result, IHS has cut its European forecast for the second half of 2013 by 1.3 GW — a nearly 20% reduction from our previous outlook."
IHS predicts that the EU duties will accelerate the decline in European installations with the biggest drops in Germany and Italy. "Germany will account for the majority of this decline with installations 3 GW lower in 2013 than the previous year," Sharma added. "Italy will also contract by another 2 GW."
Unlike most previous years, Asia has become the driving force for growth, with installations in the region predicted to exceed 15 GW for the first time, thus accounting for 45% of global demand and making the Asian market larger than Europe for the first time.
China and Japan, which will account for the majority of demand, are set to become the two largest markets in 2013 based on volume, with Japan leading in terms of revenue, according to IHS.
In addition, for the first time ever, no European countries will rank among the top three markets this year. According to IHS PV Demand Trackers Top 10 ranking forecast for 2013, China, Japan and the U.S. will be the top three market leaders, followed successively by Germany, Italy, India, the U.K., Greece, Australia and Canada.
While the solar market continues to fragment geographically in terms of end demand, IHS warns that "solar companies cannot fully rely on so-called emerging markets to provide support amid waning demand in Europe in 2013."
IHS predicts that emerging markets will add 5.9 GW in 2013, up from 3.4 GW in 2012. However, this will be made up by more than 60 countries globally.
"The good news, however, is that installations in these regions will grow to 9 GW in 2014 and to more than 16 GW in 2017, highlighting the need for solar companies to focus on emerging markets — but more importantly picking the right ones," Sharma said.