NPD Solarbuzz: Record PV demand in 2013

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NPD Solarbuzz has issued the latest Solarbuzz Quarterly report, in which the market research firm reports that end-market demand in the photovoltaic (PV) industry reached a record 9GW in the third quarter of 2013 globally. The report also features a forecast estimate for 2014 demand, in the range of 45GW to 55GW.

NPD Solarbuzz claims, the third quarter of 2013 saw an increase of almost 20% compared to the same period last year, and an increase of 6% on the previous quarter. According to Solarbuzz, demand for new PV installations in Q2 and Q3 2013 also hit record levels, totalling 17GW across the two quarters. In the final quarter of this year NPD Solarbuzz has forecast growth of between 10GW and 12GW in global solar PV demand.  

In analysing the findings, the Solarbuzz Quarterly report referred to signs of stabilised pricing in the third quarter of this year, with the ASPs of modules falling by less than 1% from the third quarter of 2012, a marked contrast to the second and third quarters of last year when prices declined by 12%. NPD Solarbuzz asserts that the first three quarters of this year saw consecutive end-market revenues exceed US$13 billion.

For the final quarter of 2013, Solarbuzz predicts a growth in the range of 10GW to 12GW in global solar PV demand, half of which the research firm expects will come from China and the US.

Solarbuzz expects that incentive rate reductions in certain leading solar PV countries scheduled to be implemented in March will result in a busy first quarter of 2014, as project developers are likely to rush to complete projects in time to receive pre-April 2014 policy-adjusted incentives. Solarbuzz predicts that the UK and Japan in particular will see a surge in projects racing to completion in Q1 of 2014.

End market solar PV system revenues will reach US$21 billion in the final quarter of 2013, bringing full year revenues to a range of US$65 billion to US$75 billion. In 2011 and 2012, when on average module and system prices were 20% to 50% higher than they have been this year, full year worldwide revenues were at US$92 billion and US$68 billion respectively, the NPD Solarbuzz report stated.

The report appears to contradict the latest predictions from IHS, which recently issued its PV Demand Tracker quarterly report. While both firms have forecast a surge in demand during the end of 2013 leading into the beginning of 2014, IHS predicted that in 2014, demand would hit a more modest figure of 41GW in comparison to NPD Solarbuzz predicted a range of 45GW to 55GW. Solarbuzz stated that its report analysed end-market PV forecasts for the top 100 nations in solar PV installation rates.

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