Wednesday, September 17, 2014

PV equipment: Dynamic first half of 2014

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: The development in turnover of the manufacturers of components, machinery and equipment for photovoltaics in Germany has seen a significant increase in the first half of 2014. Compared to the same time period last year the turnover has increased by fairly 39 percent.

“The market for production solutions and manufacturing technologies for photovoltaics has been very dynamic in the first half of 2014,” explains Dr. Peter Fath, MD of RCT Solutions GmbH and Chairman of the Board of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment. With a global market share of over 50 percent German photovoltaic equipment suppliers defend their excellent competitive position in the first half of 2014.

This development is mainly driven by the markets in Asia. At the same time, there are also positive signals from the United States and the emerging markets in Latin America, South Africa and the MENA region. The export quota of German photovoltaic supplier was in the first half of the year at 91 percent, which provides a familiar description of the industry’s export orientation.

For the German photovoltaic engineering business is mainly located in Asia. About 70 percent of sales in the reporting period were made in Far East. Lead markets for photovoltaic equipment are primarily China and Taiwan. The US market has also progressed, where more than twice as much could be sold as in the previous year. The emerging markets have contributed nearly 8 percent of sales in the first half of the year and are well above the European countries and almost on par with the domestic business.

The strongest market segment for the German photovoltaic equipment in the first half of 2014 was cell production equipment (39 percent), followed closely by manufacturing solutions for thin-film photovoltaics (33 percent). Equipment for the crystalline backend - the module production – accounted for 15 percent of the turnover in the first half of 2014, equipment for poly - silicon, ingot and wafer manufacturing 13 percent.

The order situation in the first half of 2014 showed positive dynamics. Incoming orders increased by over 30 percent compared to the same period last year. Business in Asia also dominantes the incoming orders for photovoltaic equipment in the first half of 2014 and reached a share of over 78 percent. Orders received from the domestic market are responsible for almost 10 percent of the orders in the first half of 2014. European countries contribute only 4 percent. The remaining 8 percent are assigned to the American business.

"In view of the rapidly developing PV installation market and the good capacity utilization leading photovoltaic manufacturers photovoltaic equipment supplier expect an increased investment in modern machinery and technology. However, the ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China / Taiwan threaten to slow the current dynamics," says Dr. Florian Wessendorf, MD of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment.

The expansion of the U.S. duties on solar products from Taiwan and the July announcement of tightening the duties on Chinese and Taiwanese solar products (cells and modules) have the consequence that further expansion plans by Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers are reconsidered and postponed at the moment.

The orders on hand of PV equipment companies is with 5.0 production months in the second quarter 2014 only slightly weaker compared to the total mechanical engineering sector (5.7 months in June 2014). "Even though we still have to master one or the other challenge, I am convinced that the German photovoltaic equipment companies are on the right path. The industry has done their homework to the greatest possible extent," says Fath.

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