Outside Europe, Japan has succeeded in positioning itself as the third largest market with 484 MW installed in 2009. While edging out the US for third place in annual capacity additions, the Japanese market also shows an important growth potential thanks to favourable political support, the industry believes. Certainly, after two stagnant years, Japan has recovered to have its best year ever with the resurgence driven in part by falling equipment costs and in part by new incentives (roughly US$0.80 per watt) that went into effect in January 2009.

EPIA expects Japan to become a GW market in 2010 under a policy-driven scenario and by 2012 even in the moderate scenario, with ambitious objectives to reach 28 GW of installed PV power by 2020 and 53 GW by 2030.

Both China and India also made headlines in 2009 when they independently announced plans to expand their solar power capacities to 20 GW each by 2020.

A major PV manufacturer, China was until recently almost totally absent from the world PV market, but with more than 12 GW of large projects in the pipeline, it could rapidly become a major market. With high irradiation levels and a surge in the electricity demand, the potential for PV in China is huge and depends mainly on government’s decisions. According to the national energy plan of 2009, cumulative installed PV power is forecast to reach 20 GW at least in 2020.

Meanwhile, with India’s increasing electricity demand and high irradiation levels, the country has definitively a huge potential for PV. Starting from a low 30 MW installed in 2009, it could grow to 1.5 GW in 2014 under a policy-driven scenario, EPIA believes, and probably well beyond afterwards. The market size in 2010 will clearly depend on the political choices to possibly reach between 50 MW and 300 MW.

If these plans move forward, Asia will become a major demand centre for solar energy equipment after several years of expanding manufacturing capacity and both markets are expected to boom in the next five years.

Canada and Australia also showed significant market development in 2009 and are expected to open the way to the development of new markets. Brazil, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa are also seen as promising countries, the trade groups suggest.

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