Reported by Stella Y. Lee (email@example.com)
What exactly are the opportunities and risks facing downstream companies in the Asia-Pacific region you see?
Domestically-based downstream companies are best positioned to capitalize on the new market opportunities in the region, as some of the Asia Pacific markets contain both implicit and explicit barriers to foreign entry. As a result, overseas companies need to seek local partnerships to access these new market opportunities. Those countries that rely only on national incentives carry the greatest risks of policy disruption, a characteristic of markets outside Asia too. Some emerging markets like China are being built on very low installed system prices which make the country a challenging environment to create acceptable downstream margins.
How different are major PV market trends from smaller PV market trends in the Asia-Pacific region?
While Asia-Pacific markets remain very diverse, there is a clear trend towards large utility-scale installations in China and India, with the more developed markets of Japan, Australia, and Korea favoring residential and commercial applications. Smaller markets such as Thailand and Malaysia have begun to experiment with large ground mount applications, while less developed markets in Southeast Asia remain dominated by off-grid applications.
What kinds of activities do you see over the next 2 quarters of 2012 in major PV markets?
China and Japan are forecast to remain the two largest markets in the region through 2013, while India is forecast to surpass Australia for the number three spot. As a result of its explosive growth in 2011, China has already reached world-scale PV market status, with 2012 expected to show further substantial expansion as it executes on its 20 GW project pipeline. Ground mount applications across the Asia Pacific region will continue to account for 50% of regional demand, while the non-residential rooftop segment is forecast to see the fastest growth rates in the region. Additionally, we are looking forward to new developments in emerging markets such as Malaysia and the Philippines.
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