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Asia-Pacific solar PV demand to reach 13.5 GW in 2013

14th Feb 2013

Demand for solar PV in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is expected to reach 13.5 GW in 2013.

That's according to the NPD Solarbuzz Q1'13 Asia Pacific Major PV Market Quarterly report.

The question is where will the growth occur? Australia is expected to remain a dominant region for PV demand, as will China, Japan and India. The four countries are projected to account for no less than 90 per cent of APAC demand this year.

NPD Solarbuzz analyst Chris Sunsong said that for solar panel manufacturers and installers, having the same go-to-market strategy across the entire APAC region was "no longer viable".

"Leading APAC countries are now evolving into micro-climates that create customized supply channels," said Mr Sunsong in a statement issued on February 13.

In Australia, the report predicts that the elimination of the solar credit multiplier together with incentive reductions in Victoria and Queensland will reduce solar PV demand during 2013.

"There are various factors driving overall PV demand across the APAC region, but each country is still subject to a number of risk factors," said Mr Sunsong.

He says that the Chinese and Indian markets, for example, are restricted by bank financing and grid accessibility.

What are the risks facing the Australian solar PV market? Mr Sunsong singled out government policy as the biggest risk-driver, and said the market "remains vulnerable to future policy shocks".

Renewable energy investment in the APAC region is also being closely watched from a bit further afield.

US president Barack Obama made a point yesterday (February 13) of stressing how important it was that his country doesn't get left behind by countries that are "going all in" on clean energy - countries like China.

The remark came as Obama delivered his State Of The Union address at the US House of Representatives and was framed by a larger point about investing in renewables.

"Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it," said Mr Obama.

But then 'change' came to America and its renewable energy sector and the president said it needed to continue.

He called on his 'fellow Americans' to invest in more wind power generation, which had added nearly half of all new power generation in 2012, and to embrace the increasing affordability of solar PV.

"Solar energy gets cheaper by the year - let's drive down costs even further."

Posted by Mike Peacock

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