Mercom forecast sees EU-China settlement as source of global market stability

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The resolution of the EU-China trade dispute is expected to bring greater stability to the market for PV, according to a report authored by Raj Prabhu, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Mercom Capital.

The report forecasts that global installed PV capacity will reach 38GW in 2013 and offers brief summary reports of markets in Germany, Italy, the UK, United States, Japan, China and India.

According to the report, resolution of the trade war between Europe and China over module sales, setting minimum price at €0.56 (US$0.74) per watt, brings certainty to the market. Mercom asserts that market conditions now across the global PV industry “look much better” than they did three months ago, with China still able to provide around half of Europe’s demand irrespective of EU tariffs.

China has recently revised renewable energy targets upward from 21GW to be installed by 2015 to 35GW by 2015. China is expected to support solar power for the two main reasons of aiding the domestic manufacturing industry and to reduce air pollution. The Mercom report forecasts that China will install 8.5GW of capacity in 2013.

The report also highlights Japan as a market where rapid installation has taken place recently, with over 1.2GW installed in April and May 2013 alone. Mercom refers to the 19GW of capacity that has been approved since 2012 in Japan, 16GW of which was approved in the 2013 calendar year. The report’s forecast for Japan’s 2013 installation capacity is 7GW, making China and Japan Mercom’s prediction for top two installers this year.

Germany, which installed 4.4GW by July of last year, installed only 1.2GW up to the equivalent period of this year. Mercom refers to the German Federal Network Agency policy of applying 1.8% degression rates each month to the feed-in tariff in order to restrict growth of installed capacity to a range of 3.5GW to 4GW and states that the policy appears to be working. While last year Germany installed 7.6GW, a world record, in 2012, this year Mercom predicts the nation will install around 4GW of PV capacity.

The forecast predicts that Italy, having come to the end of the national Conto Energia V solar energy subsidy plan, will only add 2GW this year to installed capacity. The nation already has 17GW cumulatively installed, sourcing 7% of the nation’s energy from solar power. The UK will install 1.5GW according to the report, the United States around 4.5GW. The Indian solar power sector, according to Mercom, has been ‘all but paralysed’ by anti-dumping disputes and will only install 1GW in 2013.

The report was compiled with data from sources including Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Credit Suisse, Solarbuzz, Mirae, Mercom Capital Group, Deutsche Bank, Hyundai and HIS iSuppli. 

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