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Digitimes Research: Europe, US solar demand continues to rise in 3Q12

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With solar programs in Europe continuing to stimulate demand in the second half of 2012, total installations in Germany for the first three quarters of 2012 were close to 6.2GW, and the figure is expected to reach 7.8-8GW for the whole year 2012.

The US market has been seeing installations grow continuously due to public projects and the rise of residential system leasing program. Total installations in the US market are likely to exceed 3.2GW in 2012, according to Digitimes Research.

But not all Europe- and US-based solar firms have enjoyed growing sales. US-based First Solar and Europe-based REC continue to see rising shipments due to increasing demand while US-based SunPower has seen shipments fall amid production cuts aimed at reducing inventory. Europe-based Conergy also has reported falling shipments due to delays in Asia-based projects.

Furthermore, China-based PV inverter makers have been increasing market share, causing the three major international PV inverter firms SMA, Power One, and Advanced Energy to report a total third-quarter shipments of 3.14GW, an on-quarter decrease of 15%.

In 2013, the solar market is expected to show growth due to adjustments to solar incentives in Europe and rising electricity price. Nevertheless, product price is likely to continue falling. To reach grid parity, the industry needs to develop storage equipment, Digitimes Research believes.

The US market has been seeing rising demand but the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariff is likely to curb growth. In addition, China's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation on polysilicon may cause US-based upstream material suppliers to suffer from decreasing distribution channels.

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