China PV Installations Forecast to Surpass Both the US and Japanese Markets in 2011


Future Uncertain with Expiration of US Federal Cash Grant and Potential for Tariffs on Chinese Modules

Caught between strong utility-scale project demand, declining solar incentives in distributed generation applications, module over-supply, and significant policy uncertainty, the North American photovoltaic (PV) market is at a crossroads, according to the conclusions of the recently-released NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly report. "PV is now positioned to take significant market share from other energy sources as it approaches grid parity in some regions. Downstream companies are facing enormous challenges to adapt to rapidly changing channel structure and business models in order to successfully participate in that opportunity," said Craig Stevens, President of NPD Solarbuzz. In Q4'11, the North America photovoltaic market is forecast to grow 33% Q/Q and 101% Y/Y. Q4'11 installations of more than 0.8 GW of PV capacity are expected, resulting in a total demand of over 2.2 GW in 2011. The United States will account for 84% of North American demand in Q4'11; Canada, dominated by Ontario, has the remaining 16%. When viewed at a state or provincial level, California remains the largest single market in Q4'11, with 21% of market share. Ontario is forecast to become the second-largest region (16%), followed by New Jersey (11%). Demand in the United States market has spread to many states beyond California, but in Canada, Ontario is 99% of the national market, which creates significant policy risk.