PV market expects FIT changes, new buyers, and low prices ahead

The Navigant (NYSE: NCI) Solar Services Program released its annual “Analysis of Worldwide Solar Markets and Five-Year Application Forecast, 2010/2011.” Here are some main points from the near-term forecast.

August 17, 2011 — The Navigant (NYSE: NCI) Solar Services Program released its annual “Analysis of Worldwide Solar Markets and Five-Year Application Forecast, 2010/2011,” proffering an analysis of global demand for solar systems and products, and forcasts through 2015 and 2020.

Navigant finds that 2010’s boom year resulted in PV module overbuys heading into 2011, stagnating H1 2011. 2012 will bring high demand-side inventory, and changes in incentives. Don’t assume that installations will be high just because capacity is — this overlooks the willingness of entities in China to hold inventory, Navigant warns.

With current high capacity levels, lowering incentive levels and aggressive pricing, average prices for modules will stay low; however, for residential and small commercial system buyers, these price savings may not be passed on.

In the US, 2012 is an election year, which could cause political gridlock for the heavily government-dependant PV industry. Because of this, and a general trend away from subsidized solar energy, the grant-in-lieu of ITC is less likely to be extended.

Europe, usually a strong renewables region, is showing indicators of instability, particularly in the Greek economic crisis’s effect on Italy. Feed-in-tariff schemes across Europe are being cut, weakening demand (see Germany, where 2012 is likely to bring additional FIT cuts).

Ontario has been a bright star in the solar PV space in 2011, but with elections and incentives reviews looming, this could quickly change. Volatility is nothing new in solar, Paula Mints, Navigant director and principal analyst for its Solar Services Program, points out.

Look for new markets in 2012 and beyond: Latin America and India, for example.

Analysis of Worldwide Solar Markets and Five-Year Application Forecast 2010/2011 can be purchased at www.navigant.com/solarreport. The report includes a detailed analysis of the market for PV technologies and products by selling channels, application segments, module size and regional markets, also analyzing the competition among, and markets for, CSP and CPV. Global coverage includes analysis of developed and industrialized countries in the following regions: North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Regional market coverage includes relevant incentive programs and a breakdown into five major application categories: grid-connected, remote habitation, remote industrial, consumer power, consumer indoor.

In addition to more than 150 detailed charts and graphs, the 350+ page report includes detailed sections including regional analysis of demand for 2010 through 2015, application analysis and forecast to 2015, along with the economic indicators, and incentives that affect the PV market.

Analysis of Worldwide Solar Markets and Five?Year Application Forecast 2010/2011 is an essential tool for business planning purposes. The comprehensive annual report complements Navigant?s previously released supply-focused report Photovoltaic Manufacture Shipments & Competitive Analysis 2010/2011.

Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com.

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