Asia-Pacific photovoltaic (PV) markets are expected to continue to surge ahead of expectations, installing 2.8 GW in the second quarter of 2011 and a total of 6 GW in fiscal 2011. The region as a whole grew 165% over the previous year and is forecast to grow an additional 40% in 2012, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz “Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly” report.

China has emerged as the dominant force in the region, growing 500% over 2010 levels with 48% of 2011 demand. A planned year-end 13% FIT reduction led to a surge in 2011 fourth quarter installations, reaching 1.7 GW. Low factory gate module prices and favorable project returns led to a flurry of installations, while the project pipeline has now grown to 20 GW.

“The China PV market was reshaped in 2011 by the release of the national FIT,” said Ray Lian, analyst, NPD Solarbuzz. “Approximately 1 GW ground-mount projects were installed in the Qinghai province alone. However, the explosive growth could well be followed by policy adjustments in 2012 as the Chinese central government takes action to control the growth rate.”

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