The Americas photovoltaics (PV) market more than doubled in the first half of 2012 to reach 1.7 Gigawatts (GW) and is set to reach almost 4.3 GW for the full year according to the Q3 PV Demand Report from IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS)). Installations grew by more than 120 percent in the first half of this year and will help drive the global PV market to grow by at least 3 GW in 2012, according to the research firm.
The latest quarterly report from IMS Research revealed that, for the first time, global installations exceeded 13 GW in the first half of 2012, with the German and Americas markets leading growth. The Americas market was found to have grown by more than 120 percent to reach 1.7 GW in the first half of 2012, compared to just 750 MW in the same period last year. “Despite the lackluster financial performance of the industry’s suppliers, underlying demand was robust in the first six months of this year, with first half installations 35 percent up on 2011”, commented IMS Research PV Research Director Ash Sharma. “The Americas market, led by the USA was unseasonably strong in the first half and did not show any significant slowdown resulting from the anti-dumping duties.”
Aside from China, the report found that the USA would be the largest single contributor to global PV growth in 2012, accounting for 40 percent of new capacity growth. In contrast, the European market is predicted to shrink by almost 3 GW in 2012, despite the strong start to the year in Germany. “IMS Research remains optimistic about the potential for the US PV market, and we predict it will grow to at least 3.5 GW in 2012 and become the world’s third largest PV market. The longer-term outlook for this market is less certain, although the speed at which it is developing so far in 2012 provides some encouragement,” added Sharma.
Global demand is predicted to accelerate in the second half of 2012, despite the slowing of key European markets, Germany and Italy. IMS Research predicts installations will hit a new half-yearly record of almost 18 GW in the second half of 2012, driven by markets such as China and Japan, as well as the Americas. China recently approved 1.7 GW of Golden Sun projects which must be completed by the end of the year, whilst Japan’s new FiT became effective on 1st July and will help spark a surge in demand towards the end of 2012.