Total cumulative solar installations in Southeast Asia are forecast to reach almost 5GW by 2016, according to IMS Research analysis on the solar markets in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines.

The market research institute believes that the region will grow at 50% per year on average over the next five years, providing an attractive market for ailing suppliers in Europe.

Lopburi solar power plant.
The Asian Development Bank granted a long-term loan of US$70 million some Bt2 billion for construction of the Lopburi solar power plant.

Installations have previously been dominated by Thailand, however, other regions are also forecast to quickly account for a significant share of the market.IMS research found that although the region accounted for less than 1% of global installations in 2011, its share is forecast to increase by more than four times by 2016, In addition, annual installations are forecast to grow by 50% a year on average for the next five years and expected to exceed 1GW by 2015.

In recent years, Thailand has accounted for the majority of installations in the region and will be the fifth-largest market in Asia in 2012 after China, Japan, India and Australia. Rapid growth in Thailand has been driven by the attractive Adder incentive scheme which has resulted in several large ground-mount systems being completed.

However, a new incentive scheme to promote smaller rooftop systems is expected in 2013. As a result, the market share of utility-scale systems in Thailand is forecast to fall by 25% by 2016.

The solar market in Southeast Asia is forecast to diversify significantly in the future.

“Although the market is currently dominated by Thailand, a number of countries within the Southeast Asia region have huge potential for solar and offer significant opportunities to suppliers, and these will account for a growing share of the market in the future,” commented Jessica Jin, PV market analyst at IMS Research.

“Given its substantial and quickly growing need for electricity, the small amount of the population that currently have access to electricity, and its reliance on diesel generators on its thousands of islands, solar is a highly attractive solution for providing distributed electricity sources in Indonesia.”

IMS Research predicts that Indonesia will be the fastest growing market in the region installing close to 1GW of solar over the next four years, with off-grid systems set to account for a significant share of this.

IMS Research also found that although the region is home to some large manufacturing facilities for international solar cell and module manufacturers, these manufacturers do not hold a significant market share, and five of the largest solar module suppliers to the region were found to be China- or Japan-based manufacturers. In contrast, the majority of the largest system integrators were headquartered locally.

via Thailand and Indonesia to drive Southeast Asia solar market, says IMS Research.

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