Renewable Energy, Solar

Solar photovoltaic demand in emerging Asian countries to enter boom

Solar photovoltaic (PV) demand from the emerging Asia Pacific and Central Asia region is forecast to exceed 3 GW by 2017, based on findings in the new NPD Solarbuzz Emerging PV Markets: Asia Pacific and Central Asia Report.

Compared to 723 MW of PV demand in 2012, this represents a strong compound annual growth rate of 28 percent.

Solar PV demand across Asia remains fragmented and is characterized by a diverse range of policies and end-market drivers, which is consistent with PV industry adoption in other emerging markets. However, solar PV is well understood by policy makers in Asia, with the Southeast Asia region widely recognized as a leading hub for upstream manufacturing.

Solar PV demand across the region will be dominated by Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan. Between 2013 and 2017, these five countries will account for 50 percent of the cumulative PV demand forecast from the EAPCA region.

Thailand is forecast to be the region’s largest market, driven by rapid growth in demand for electricity and the requirement to decrease its financial burden from imported energy. Short-term PV demand will emerge by executing on project pipelines accumulated from the previous Adder Support Scheme.

Indonesia has long-term plans for solar power to provide 0.3 percent of the national energy mix by 2025, equivalent to 1 GW of new solar demand. Indonesia is forecast to become the second largest solar PV market within the Southeast Asia region by 2017, supported by forthcoming feed-in-tariff incentives. Taiwan and South Korea have also prioritized solar PV within their renewable energy targets.

Over the next few years, a greater number of countries will contribute to overall PV demand from Asia. The Philippines accumulated more than 500 MW within its solar PV pipeline at the end of 2012, with strong investments coming from Japan and South Korea.

Bangladesh has developed a large off-grid PV market with plans to install an additional one million solar PV systems by 2016. Kazakhstan is targeting 77 MW of solar power generation over the next few years, and Pakistan has announced over 500 MW of solar deployment.