Solar power sales grow in Asia 2014-04-10


Asia, led by Japan, has become the largest market for China's solar power products, as exports to Europe plummet amid trade disputes, an industry official said on Tuesday. 

Sales of solar cells, modules and related products to Europe fell about 62 percent last year to $3.7 billion. In contrast, sales to Asian customers soared 124 percent to $5.5 billion, according to the solar division of the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products. 

Chinese producers have been forced to scour new emerging markets for buyers. But it hasn't been easy to find enough of them to replace sales lost in Europe

In 2013, China's total solar exports dropped 17.9 percent to $12.3 billion. Japan become the largest customer, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the total, while exports to Germany fell 75 percent to $507million. 

Analysts said that as Japan continues to mothball most of its nuclear power plants, the country has accelerated its development of renewable energy sources, especially in the solar power sector. There are 5 gigawatts of projects in the pipeline for installation in the first half of the year. 

At the same time, we're also looking at other emerging markets with very high potential such as South Africa and India

Although exports fell last year, China's total solar market showed some signs of life. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd said fourth-quarter revenue increased 28 percent to 3 billion yuan in the fourth quarter. 

The National Energy Administration has set targets for the installed solar capacity this year. The overall target is 14 gW of solar capacity, with 6 gW in utility-scale facilities and 8 gW of distributed generation. 

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