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Report: record 3rd quarter for world PV demand

According to the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly report, global solar demand reached a Q3 record of 9 GW in the third quarter of 2013.

That’s up 6 percent from Q2 2013, and almost 20 percent higher year-on-year, and when combined, demand from Q2 and Q3 exceeded 17 GW.

“The record levels of mid-year demand in 2013 have been critical to the overall recovery of the solar PV sector,” said Michael Barker, a senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz.

“Restored confidence in end-market growth is allowing leading solar PV manufacturers to pursue aggressive shipment strategies within both established and emerging territories, despite previous concerns that trade wars could dampen growth,” he said, referring to the tariffs and countervailing duties that have been imposed across the U.S., Europe and China.


Credit: NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly

Credit: NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly


The report also noted that the price of PV is moderating after a solid decline over the past few years. Module prices fell 12 percent between Q2 and Q3 2012, compared to just a one percent decline over the same period in 2013.

Global solar PV revenue is forecast to be around $65 – $75 billion for 2013, compared to $68 billion in 2012, and $92 billion in 2011. In 2011, PV system prices were up to 50 percent higher than in 2013; the bounce back in revenue expected this year is testament to strong demand.

The research firm predicts that next year, global PV demand will reach around 45-55 GW, with over half coming from the Asia Pacific region, and ten percent from emerging regions.

NPD Solarbuzz also expects strong demand in the UK and Japan in the first quarter of 2014, with firms taking up advantageous policy incentives due to change in April 2014.

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