QUICK NEWS, November 30: CHINA DODGING SUN TARIFFS; U.S. NOT SO SUNNY RIGHT NOW; CHINESE HOMEGROWN PV ZOOM
CHINA DODGING SUN TARIFFS
Chinese Solar Companies May Move Production to Dodge U.S. Tariff
Zachary Tracer, Noember 22, 2011 (Bloomberg News)
"Chinese solar companies are considering shifting manufacturing to other countries to avoid paying tariffs that may result from a trade complaint.
"LDK Solar Co. (LDK) and JA Solar Holdings Co. (JASO) said they may move some production operations if the U.S. imposes duties on solar products imported from China. Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP), the world’s biggest solar-panel maker, said the dispute would be ‘extremely damaging to the entire U.S. solar industry.’ …The statements…show that Chinese manufacturers are developing strategies to avoid potential duties, and that the complaint may not give U.S. solar companies the relief they’re seeking…"
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"Chinese companies may avoid the tariffs by buying solar cells from Taiwanese companies and assembling them into modules outside China…Suntech and Canadian Solar Inc., which makes panels in China, already have plants in North America, and JA Solar has an existing relationship outside China with a company to which it could outsource some manufacturing.
"SolarWorld Industries America Inc…and six unnamed U.S. manufacturers filed the trade complaint last month with the U.S. International Trade Commission and Commerce Department, asserting that import duties on Chinese imports will compensate for unfair financial support China provides to its solar industry…The U.S. imported $2.4 billion of solar panels from China in 2010…A tariff would increase prices for developers, homeowners, utilities and others who purchase solar panels in the U.S…[Analysts expect] the trade complaint will pass and tariffs will be imposed…"
U.S. NOT SO SUNNY RIGHT NOW
Get ready for a 2012 reality check: Current US solar policy will leave PV market short of solar industry’s expectations
November 17, 2011 (Clear Sky Advisors)
"While the long-term market outlook for the US solar PV market is positive, 2012 will not offer suffering module manufacturers the reprieve they were hoping for…ClearSky Advisors Inc. predicts installed volume will grow 7% to 1,628 MW in 2012. However, falling equipment prices – especially for PV modules – means that overall market value for 2012 will be flat or may even drop…
"Continued overcapacity in the solar supply chain will see the cut-throat competition in the solar PV supply-chain continue, with average selling prices for modules continuing to fall at least for the first part of 2012. Not until 2014 will market conditions improve markedly…"
(from Clear Sky Advisors - click to enlarge)
"In the short-term…opportunities [will be] in carefully targeted markets. The diversity of state-level solar policies means that the US market must be treated as many local markets – each with its own set of policies and conditions that determine the magnitude of the local opportunity…
"…[M]arket growth in 2015 will be increasingly dominated by utility scale projects…[D]ecreases in equipment prices will make solar power cost competitive in certain areas toward the end of the forecast period…The West will remain the largest regional market…California and New Jersey will be the single most important states…even if both states will face intermittent market disruption…"
CHINESE HOMEGROWN PV ZOOM
China PV Installations Forecast to Surpass Both the US and Japanese Markets in 2011; Asia Pacific Markets Projected to Reach More than 4.8 GW in 2011; Utility-Scale Ground-Mount Installations in China and India Drive Markets
November 22, 2011 (Solarbuzz)
"In the Asia Pacific region, the photovoltaic (PV) market is forecast to grow 39% Q/Q and 130% Y/Y in Q4’11. Q4'11 installations of more than 2 GW of PV capacity are expected, which will significantly raise the region's share of the global market this year, according to… NPD Solarbuzz…
"The region is poised to grow an additional 45% in 2012, as Asian governments introduce new installation targets. China's National Energy Administration recently revised its official cumulative solar installation target up from 10 GW to 15 GW for 2015, representing just one of the most recent examples. China is projected to account for 45% of regional demand in Q4'11 and is on course to surpass both the US and Japanese market sizes in 2011."
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"Elsewhere, regional demand is being driven by national incentive programs in India, while Japan is also growing rapidly ahead of its new FIT program. Other emerging markets in the region such as Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia are projected to deliver a combined 700 MW of additional demand in 2012.
"Non-residential ground mount systems are projected to account for 64% of the regional market by Q4’12, up from just 16% in Q1’11. This share growth will come at the expense of the residential segment which falls from 58% in Q1’11 to just 20% by Q4’12…Internal rates of return (IRRs) on PV systems in the four major markets will build over the next four quarters, ending 2012 at levels between 10% and 13%, as system prices drop faster than incentive rates…"