China solar could double expectations as Europe slides
China’s ascendance to the top of the global PV demand table may be far more meteoric than previously believed, with experts claiming that Beijing is ready to further fuel domestic demand if the European market slows severely, according to Recharge News
Beijing’s official PV target stands at 15-GW by 2015 — having been upwardly revised twice last year in response to declining system prices.
Industry consensus generally centers on a 5-GW Chinese market this year, compared with the 2-GW it added in 2011 — and just 900-MW cumulatively before then.
But Ash Sharma, senior PV research director at IMS Research in the UK, says the Chinese market will reach 5-GW even in the absence of any new steps taken by the government to offset declining demand in other regions.
“China is looking very reactive — to a large extent the Chinese market depends on what happens in Europe,” Sharma told Recharge News.
“If we see the European markets really falter this year, then we could easily see 8-GW, 10-GW installed in China.”
Frank Haugwitz, a Beijing-based expert at Solar Promotion International, agrees that China is likely to far exceed -5GW on the back of emerging demand centers in its western provinces, led by Qinghai.
Many in the industry see the deal signed this year between German developer Wirsol and Suntech— to build an initial 50-MW in Qinghai — as a taste of things to come.
“China has the potential to be the world’s second-largest, if not largest, market in the very near future.”