ENGLAND: Shipments of solar power (PV) equipment grew by 81 percent in the second quarter of 2009 from the first, according to latest analysis from IMS Research, indicating the worst of the industry’s downturn may now be over.
Latest quarterly data from IMS Research, which tracks PV inverter and module shipments, revealed that in spite of the difficulties the industry is facing, over 1GW of PV equipment was shipped by manufacturers in Q209.
However, for the first six months of 2009, shipments were still 34 percent down compared to the same period last year, mainly due to the sudden implosion of the Spanish market.
Research Director, Ash Sharma commented: “Although shipments were sequentially up by more than 80 percent in Q2, year-to-date sales and shipments are still considerably down on 2008. In addition, the PV market is strongly seasonal, and Q2 is typically much stronger than Q1. However, in 2007 and 2008, Q2’s sequential growth was somewhat lower, at 75 percent and 57 percent, respectively.”
Sharma continued: “Trading conditions were reported to have been very tough in Q1, however it now appears we are starting to turn a corner with more customers coming back to PV.
“In spite of this, large-scale PV plants are suffering in Europe due to difficulties in obtaining financing. Much hope is now being placed on newer markets, particularly the US and China, which are showing very promising signs. The US market is now being led by cash-rich utilities that are announcing multi-MW investments almost every week.”
Although the market is up in Q2, IMS Research still projects new installations will be 25 percent down on 2008, with around 4.5GW of new PV capacity added.