NPD Solarbuzz is predicting sunny days ahead for solar power in 2014 and for the Asia Pacific region to account for half of PV demand next year.
The research firm says demand is poised for explosive growth in 2014 and will reach 49GW next year – up over 26% from 2013’s 36GW.
Solarbuzz predicts the first quarter of next year to be a record breaker and the last quarter to exceed the 12GW barrier for the first time.
“Manufacturing over-capacity and pricing erosion within the PV industry was previously a key factor in limiting annual growth to 10-20% between 2011 and 2013,” says Finlay Colville, vice-president at NPD Solarbuzz. “With a more stable pricing environment and the prospects of increased end-market globalization, NPD Solarbuzz forecasts a return to annual growth above 30% for the PV industry in 2014.”
Much of next year’s growth will be thanks to the Asia Pacific region. Solar PV demand growth in the APAC region next year is forecast to be 35% higher than this year, when more than 18 GW of new solar PV is expected to have been installed.
According to the NPD Solarbuzz Asia Pacific PV Markets Quarterly report, almost all new solar PV capacity in the APAC region will be installed in just five countries: China, Japan, India, Australia, and Thailand.
China and Japan will be the solar powerhouses of APAC in 2014. The Chinese Bureau of Energy has announced target of 12 GW for next year; with two-thirds of that total to be rooftop installations of solar panels. Solarbuzz says Japan’s 230% annual growth in 2013 will drive the pipeline of solar PV projects in that country above 20 GW.
The solar power industry in Thailand also appears to be heading into a boom, with the country’s National Energy Policy committee proposing 800 megawatts (MW) of community-based solar-PV capacity, plus an additional 200 MW of rooftop solar power systems.