The Asia Pacific region’s hunger for solar panels looks set to continue; and by 2015 will account for a quarter of global demand.
According to a recent report from Solarbuzz, Asia Pacific photovoltaic markets represented 11% of demand in 2010 and this year, China, Japan, India, Australia, and South Korea will account for 3.3GW of demand.
The solar powerhouse standout for this year is China. With new national and provincial programs in place, China’s market is expected to expand by up to 174% over its 2010 level. Aside from domestic demand, China is also the biggest producer of solar PV technology, accounting for 50% of global production.
The future of solar in India also looks bright thanks to the country’s National Solar Mission fast-tracking solar projects. India’s on-grid ground-mount sector is expected to significantly boost the nation’s installed capacity in 2011, with installations projected to at least double.
Longer-term growth potential in South Korea remains stable as new Renewable Portfolio Standards are implemented, which will see the Korean government focus on small-scale solar and building-mount applications.
Of the top 5 countries in the Asia Pacific region, Australia is singled out as being the most unstable.
SolarBuzz says Australia’s 431% market growth in 2010 occurred despite attempts to reign in demand for home solar power installations by the Australian government. While New South Wales accounted for 44% of the national market last year, this year the NSW solar industry is in crisis, following the bungled end to the state’s Solar Bonus Scheme and the limbo that ensued – and continues.
“Fragmented and stop-start solar policies remain the largest stumbling block to long-term sustainable growth for the PV industry in Australia,” says Solarbuzz.
The Solarbuzz Asia Pacific Major PV Markets report offers an in-depth look into the major Asia Pacific countries active in the PV market, with analysis on Japan, China, India, South Korea and Australia.