Solar Shipments Surge in Second Quarter as Demand Rises in Asia

Solar shipments in the second quarter from three of the top four panel producers exceeded projections by as much as 32 percent as demand surged in Asia.

Canadian Solar Inc. shipped 455 megawatts in the second quarter, beating a May forecast of 380 megawatts to 420 megawatts, the Guelph, Ontario-based company said in a statement yesterday. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., the largest panel maker, and Trina Solar Ltd. also surpassed their own projections, according to preliminary statements.

Canadian Solar’s shipments to Japan almost doubled from the first quarter as the country shifts to renewable energy after closing nuclear power plants. Japan and China will be the top two solar markets this year, according to Stefan Linder, a New York-based analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“In 2013, Asia should make up about half of global solar demand, up from just a quarter last year,” Linder said in an e-mail. “Chinese manufacturers are still suffering with global oversupply, but the government is looking to create domestic demand to help soak up some of that excess capacity.”

China plans to increase installations fivefold by 2015. Japan has implemented solar incentives that “kicked off a development frenzy,” he said.

Yingli said shipments will rise 23 percent to 24 percent from the first quarter, compared with an earlier estimate of gains in the low- to mid-teens. China accounted for 23 percent of the Baoding, China-based company’s shipments last year, up from 6 percent in 2010.

‘Strong’ Growth

Trina, the third-biggest solar producer, said it will ship 630 megawatts to 660 megawatts of modules, compared with earlier projections of 500 megawatts to 530 megawatts. The Changzhou, China-based company reported “strong sequential growth in Japan and India” in the first quarter.

“We have been consistently pursuing our strategy of geographic diversification and have focused on new growth market such as Japan,” Canadian Solar Chief Executive Officer Shawn Qu said in the statement. The company was the fourth-largest producer by shipments last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Suntech Power Holdings Co., the second-largest solar company last year, hasn’t released second-quarter results.

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