APAC solar markets on course for rapid expansion

APAC photovoltaic markets are on course for rapid expansion, and will account for a quarter of demand, worldwide, by 2015.

Although long-term forecasts can be tricky to get right, Solarbuzz’s latest report says the top five markets in the region, which are China, Japan, India, Australia and South Korea, will manage 3.3 GW in 2011 alone. China and Japan are ahead of the pack.

China and India will be particularly high growth countries as policy changes come into effect. China is running both national and provincial programs which should see its market shoot up by 174 percent compared to 2010. Growth will mainly be led by utilities, taking over from residential installations. In fact, China’s on-grid installations will double in 2011 thanks to incentive policies for large scale PV installations.

Beijing’s introduction of FIT policies throughout the country means it is set to break a record GW level, says Solarbuzz, including a 10 GW project pipeline. 

Meanwhile, South Korea is implementing its Renewable Portfolio Standards, which should see 1.2 GW in capacity installed over the next five years, but at a snail’s pace compared to previous years.

As with the European market, FIT incentives are increasingly facing the chop. But Solarbuzz said that although large ground-mount installations took a hit, it means there is opportunity for solid growth in building-mount, which will continue in the near future.

Changes in Australia’s photovoltaic incentives, like Solar Credits, didn’t knock its growth. Although the government seemingly beckoned a slower change of pace in PV installations, there was a 431 percent market growth in 2010. 

India’s installations should double this year. State policies in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat, twinned with the National Solar Mission, will see the three states really lead the way with photovoltaics in the Indian market. They’re expected to tally up 70 percent in the country overall. Project pipeline targets set for 2013 are at 1.5GW as of June this year.