The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

PV Equipment Spending Downturn to Reset Preferred Supplier Lists

PV equipment spending (including c-Si ingot-to-module and thin-film fabs) is forecast to decline to an eight-year low in 2013, as the industry reacts to the dearth of new purchase orders and de-bookings of the past 12 months.

Spending during 2012 has been dictated by accounting rules and the ability of company accounts-receivable departments to extract payment from manufacturers that placed ambitious tool purchase orders back in 2011 and were finally forced to receive and pay for equipment that they ultimately did not want or could not use in 2012.

But the main problem was lack of new purchase orders in 2012, and there is no great surprise here. Examples of PV manufacturers needing any additional capacity this year can be counted on one hand, and the volumes can be measured in the low 100’s of MW, not in GW. Add in the de-bookings, and 2013 is almost devoid of any meaningful backlog or pending revenues to be recognized.

Source: Adapted from NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly

PV equipment spending for 2013 is likely to be at the $2 billion level, a huge reduction from the $12-13 billion revenue opportunity last seen in the peak year 2011. Equipment spending is not the same as tool shipment in the PV industry. Equipment spending is revenue recognition, the only parameter that renders a tool shipment as ‘real’.

Equipment suppliers operating in adjacent segments will retain skeletal PV resources and R&D, and plan for the next upturn from 2014 onwards. Suppliers that were serving only the PV industry have almost no option but to hunker down for another 12 months, reduce operating costs to a minimum, and hope that investors and shareholders retain confidence in their long-term prospects and those of the PV industry as a whole.

While the news may sound rather bleak and depressing, the abrupt downturn has enabled a key inflection point to be reached, in which the legacy supply-chain for tooling to the PV industry has been wiped out. Therefore, any equipment suppliers that had fought to get into the supply-chain and failed have another chance! When PV equipment spending resumes, it will do so from a blank sheet of paper, and ultimately this will create many new opportunities with new tools in the coming years.

This article was originally published on NPD Solarbuzz and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Financial analysis via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



Evaluating the Case for Module-Level Shutdown

Hannes Knopf With 2014 NEC adoption in full swing, many are anticipating what the next version of the code will hold for the PV in...

A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

Listen Up: Can I Get Solar if my Roof is Shaded?

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World Rooftop solar panels only work when they are in direct sunlight. So if you have a partially shaded roof, the output o...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...


Fronius Shifting the Limits in Solar-Plus: It’s not just about products, it’s about solutions.

Fronius USA, who just recently launched the all-new Fronius SnapINverter line this past...

IREC Announces Changes in Regulatory Team

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a not-for-profit organization which for...

IREC Awarded New Funding to Advance Digital Credentials

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) proudly announces funding for an innovat...

$100 Discount on 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience Workhop

Upcoming 5-day Workshops: Nov. 7 - 11 Feb. 6 - 10


NY Gov. Cuomo Pledges to Create Carbon Market use Solar, Wind to reduce Climate Change

This week former Vice President Al Gore joined with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to sign the Under 2 MOU, a directi...
clean energy

In Clean Energy, The Truth Matters

A group of about 20 protesters gathered outside the Sheraton in Burlington, Vt., early on Oct. 8 as attendees arrived...

Industry Focus: Cleantech: 1366 Technologies joins Solarcity in New York

1366 is set to build a factory just up the road (OK, it is a long road – NYS Thruway) from Solarcity.  The...


As Vice President, Dr. Finlay Colville leads the Solarbuzz team of analysts dedicated to PV market research and strategic consulting activities. Since 2010, he has co-authored the PV Equipment Quarterly report—now the industry’s leading resource f...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Power Northeast

  From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sol...

Solar Power Asset Management and Performance

SEIA and SEPA collaborated with industry leaders to present the first ev...


Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar fina...

Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar financing...

10 Questions You Should Be Asking

Tony Robbins is fond of saying that the quality of your life is directly...

Join us at the New Solar Power Northeast

From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sold out P...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now