Wednesday, November 23, 2011

China PV installations to surpass US, Japan markets in 2011, says Solarbuzz

Solarbuzz is forecasting the Asia Pacific region PV market will grow 39% on quarter and 130% on year in fourth-quarter 2011. Fourth-quarter 2011 installations of more than 2GW of PV capacity are expected.

China's National Energy Administration (NEA) recently revised its official cumulative solar installation target up from 10-15 GW for 2015. China is projected to account for 45% of regional demand in fourth-quarter 2011 and is on course to surpass both the US and Japanese market sizes in 2011.

Financing, land use, and regulatory issues are a significant barrier to large-scale projects in China. Transmission infrastructure, or the lack of one, is also a serious problem in most parts of the country.

There is also the complicated political landscape of China that can be a problem in the implementation of Beijing's energy policy. Solarbuzz tends to be more optimistic than me about the effect of China's nation-wide feed-in tariff announced by the National Development and Reform Commission in August 2011. I tend to be more skeptical that the FiT will lead to grid-connected electricity from solar projects in the majority fo the country.

Solarbuzz's analysis, however, is consistently reliable, reasonable and well-informed. I think they are generally on target on with their prediction and their study acknowledges the obstacles in China developing a robust domestic solar market.

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