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PV Backsheets A Solar Boom For Asia

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The Asian solar photovoltaic (PV) backsheet market is heating up, as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China steal focus from the US and Europe, whose finances and demand for PV continue to suffer due to the global economic crisis, states a new report by energy experts GlobalData. The new report states that solar PV power is one of the fastest growing sources of energy in the world, as demand grows for energy security and independence, driving governments to develop reliable renewable power sources. PV backsheets are laminates which protect PV cells and electronics from ultraviolet radiation, severe weather conditions and excess moisture, allowing light to pass through and be converted into solar power. As solar power becomes more popular, solar PV backsheets represent a bigger business opportunity, and several Asian countries are looking to benefit from this market.

China boasts more than 10 backsheet manufacturers and exports its products worldwide, and further market growth appears promising as the government holds ambitious targets for development. Foreign players are flooding the Chinese PV market as the country is a low cost module-manufacturing hub, with the market expected to reach a value of $283.3m by 2020.

Japan is also a major manufacturing base for PV backsheets, meeting domestic demand as well as exporting products. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 resulted in the downfall of Japan's power market, leading the government to strengthen the country's renewable power capacity. The country aims to achieve 28 gigawatts (GW) of solar power production by 2020, and announced a new tariff scheme in June 2012 that mandated Japanese utilities to purchase renewable power at pre-set premiums for 20 years. For solar PV power, this premium is set at $0.53/kilowatt hours (kWh) - triple what utilities pay for conventional power.

South Korea and Taiwan represent emerging PV backsheet markets, as companies expand their solar PV backsheet production into these countries. The installed capacity in Taiwan is expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25% during the 2011"“2020 period to reach 234 MW, while South Korea's installed capacity is expected to grow from to 419 MW in 2020 at a CAGR of 17%.

The Asia-Pacific solar PV backsheet market saw its installed capacity increase from 339 MW in 2006 to 3,260 MW in 2011 at a CAGR of 57%, and further growth is forecast for the next decade owing to highly supportive government policies. Total regional installed capacity is expected to reach 18,151 MW by 2020 at a CAGR of 21% from 2011.

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