A dozen emerging markets will lead to sustainable growth for the solar industry

01 July 2010 by

Valencia, Rotterdam; 1 July 2010. A growing list of countries is supporting the application of photovoltaic solar energy with a feed-in tariff (FiT) incentive program. The FiT incentives were invented by the Germans, and have earned the country its position as market leader. A FiT pays compensation for every kilowatt hour of solar energy produced by the solar PV system. Emerging markets are Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, UK, Israel, Canada, India and South Africa. These will make the solar industry less dependent on Germany, which is still dominant. The Global Demand Conference in Valencia (Spain) on September 6 and 7 will discuss demand trends in the leading and emerging markets.

“It takes time - usually at least three years - to develop a PV market,” says Edwin Koot, CEO of Solarplaza, a leading platform for the solar industry. “But after this development phase, these new markets will gain volume. Having a dozen of them in the solar industry will create a solid foundation for sustainable growth.”
The recent political changes have led to serious adjustments of the feed-in tariff incentives in Germany. With effect from July 1, tariffs will be reduced by 16% for most applications. Another reduction of around 10% will be implemented by January 1, 2011. Germany covers around 50% of the global PV market volume. “If no other markets pick up demand soon, the industry will face price decreases and margin compression, ultimately leading to industry consolidation,” according to senior expert Koot.

Solar modules and system prices have declined by almost 50% over the last two years. Further price pressure will bring ‘grid-parity’ closer. This means that the cost of solar energy will be competitive with the cost of electricity from the grid. “The feed-in tariff incentives are bridging the gap of less than five years to this ‘tipping point’ for the industry in major markets such as Italy, Spain and Germany. Feed-in tariffs will jump-start PV market development and create downstream business opportunities and jobs,” says Koot, adding that “solar energy is inevitable anyway in the near future”.

The fourth edition of the international Global PV Demand Conference to be held on September 6 and 7 in Valencia (Spain), and organized by Solarplaza, will discuss demand trends in the emerging and the world’s top-ten markets. Speakers will include leading PV experts from all of these countries. They will discuss demand dynamics and the growth scenario for solar energy demand over the coming years.

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