Kristina Shih, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Monday 4 February 2013]
Over-investment in 2010-2011 caused the solar industry to suffer from falling prices and increasing net losses in 2012. However, due to policy promotions and solar incentives in various countries, demand in 2012 showed sequential growth. In 2013, installations in China, Japan and the US are likely to grow continuously due to policy stimulation.
Europe has been entering maturity and is likely to account for 35% of total global installations in 2013, according to Digitimes Research.
Due to falling incentives in Germany and Italy, the combined market share of the two countries is forecast to fall from 36% to 25% in 2013. France is the third-largest solar market in Europe, and due to incentive adjustments for solar PV systems under 100kW, the country is expected to see on-year installation growth in 2013. The UK plans to lower solar feed-in-tariffs and the number of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC) in the second quarter, hence demand is expected to surge in the first quarter. Demand in Belgium has been falling since the second half of 2012 due to the cancellation of subsidies for large-size installations, and adjustments to the country's green certificates. Income tax schemes in Spain and Greece are expected to affect revenues of installation firms and financial institutes, therefore demand in both markets is forecast to fall.
In 2013, the Europe market hopes to shift from high incentives to steady installation growth. Governments have been trying to encourage the self-use of solar PV systems to lower the pressure on the electricity grid through adjustments to subsidies.