SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Global solar photovoltaic demand grew 196 percent to reach 10.6 GW in the first 9 months of 2010 putting the PV industry on course for a record year, according to a report issued this week by Solarbuzz, an international solar energy market research and consulting company.
In the latest edition of Solarbuzz Quarterly, 2010 market size has been increased to 16.3 GW from the previous 15.2 GW forecast. Soaring PV markets around the world have led to global demand more than doubling, with European markets taking a 78 percent share.Source: Solarbuzz, USA.
Third and fourth quarter 2010
Third quarter 2010 demand was 4 GW, down marginally from 4.1 GW from the prior quarter due to slower market uptake in Germany after mid-year reductions in incentive tariffs. However, fourth quarter 2010 demand is projected to increase by 43 percent to an all time quarterly high of 5.7 GW. On the supply side, Chinese manufacturers accounted for 66 percent of Q3'10 global cell production, up from 50 percent one year earlier, as they continue to grow market share.
JA Solar had the highest cell shipments in third quarter, while eight out of the top 12 were Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers. The fastest growing large cell manufacturer was Taiwan's Motech Industries, followed by Trina Solar and JA Solar in equal second place.
Looking into 2011
Aggregate PV manufacturers' solar shipment* growth is projected at 46 percent in 2011. This is in contrast to a slowing global market growth rate, which is forecast to be 25 percent in 2011, following incentive tariff cuts in the dominant German market and policy adjustments in the Czech Republic and France, in particular.
Instead, 2011 market expansion will be driven by Italy, United States, China, Canada, India and smaller markets in Europe and Asia.
As a result of excess production, factory gate module prices are projected to drop by more than 15 percent over the year to fourth quarter 2011, led down by low cost Asian producers.
"Wholesalers in Germany will defer purchases in the early months of 2011 until they start to see improving price offers from module suppliers," said Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz. "However, more competitive pricing will emerge during second quarter that will be sufficient to re-stimulate that market during the second half of the year."
Weak first quarter 2011 demand in Germany will be the primary cause of module inventory build of over 3 GW in the PV chain. However, some leading manufacturers integrated into the downstream have established better positions by building up project pipelines in other European countries, the US and Asia.
Many other manufacturers are dependent on upfront payments and penalty clauses to ensure wholesalers and project developers follow through on framework supply contracts as prices fall.Source: Solarbuzz, USA.