PV installations in Europe in 2013 will be 1.3GW lower than previously predicted due to anti-dumping duties against Chinese module manufacturers that came into force last week, research claims.

Analysis by IHS forecasts European PV installations will fall by more than 6GW in 2013 compared to 2013, with the European Commission's 11.8% duty on Chinese solar imports accounting for 1.3GW of that.

Despite this dramatic fall, IHS's latest quarterly analysis still predicts global installations will grow at a double-digit rate to 35GW in 2013 driven by a surge in demand in Asia.

But in Europe, 2013 installations will fall to 11.6GW, down 33% from 17.7GW in 2012, driven by the trade tariffs and other factors such as falling subsidies in key countries such as Germany.

”Although the EU Commission has given a small window of opportunity by reducing the tariff to 11.8% for 60 days, IHS still expects dampened demand,” said Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS.

“This decline comes in stark contrast to the sharp increase in module shipments from China as buyers stockpile ahead of the next tariff increase in August. As a result IHS has cut its European forecast for the second half of 2013 by 1.3GW – a nearly 20% reduction from our previous outlook.”

The analysis found that the EU duties will accelerate the decline in European installations with biggest falls in Germany and Italy.

But Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun, which launched the anti-dumping investigation last year, said that while the EU's global market will reduce, it will not be due to duties. "We don't expect any decline because of duties but a shift from Chinese to non-Chinese modules after the higher tariffs will prevent dumping beginning in August.

"Beside that we agree that the EU market will be much lower than 2012 and 2011. Truth is, dumping prices don't let markets grow. While Chinese companies lowered their dumping prices more than 60% since 2011 the market fell by nearly 50% in the same time period. Only competition lets markets develop. The best example is US where the number of installations boomed after tariffs helped to come back to a level playing field and increased the number of (global) competitors in the American market," said Nitzschke.

“Germany will account for the majority of this decline with installations 3GW lower in 2013 than the previous year,” Sharma added. “Italy will also contract by another 2GW.”

Despite this huge fall in European demand, IHS still predicts that the global PV market will grow in 2013, with installations hitting 35GW, up 11% from 31GW in 2012.

However, unlike most previous years, Asia will be the driving force for growth, with installations in the region predicted to exceed 15GW for the first time and thus account for 45% of global demand. This will make the Asian market larger than Europe for the first time.

China and Japan will account for the majority of this and IHS predicts they will become the two largest markets in 2013 based on volume. Japan will lead in terms of revenue, as IHS previously announced.

In addition, no European countries in 2013 will rank among the top three markets for the first time ever, and IHS’ PV Demand Tracker’s Top 10 ranking forecast for 2013 is now much more evenly balanced across all geographic regions.

While the solar market is continuing to fragment geographically in terms of end demand, solar companies cannot fully rely on so-called emerging markets to provide support amid waning demand in Europe in 2013, IHS said.

IHS predicts that emerging markets will add 5.9GW in 2013 up from 3.4GW in 2012. However, this will be made up by more than 60 countries globally.

“The good news, however, is that installations in these regions will grow to 9GW in 2014 and to more than 16GW in 2017 highlighting the need for solar companies to focus on emerging markets – but more importantly picking the right ones,” Sharma concluded.
 

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