SolarBuzz spikes PV outlook to 15GW

Citing soaring demand, Solarbuzz has ratcheted up its 2010 forecast for global PV installations to 15.2GW, more than double the 7.5GW put in during 2009.

June 30, 2010 – Citing soaring demand, Solarbuzz has ratcheted up its 2010 forecast for global PV installations to 15.2GW, more than double the 7.5GW put in during 2009. Demand will continue to ramp through the year, with 12.7GW generated in 2Q-4Q driven by strong growth in a variety of regions: Europe, US, Japan, China, and “a range of smaller startup markets,” the firm says.

Germany is still a hotspot despite “substantial volatility” as 2010 winds along, including uncertainty about policy adjustments planned for July and early 2011. The nation could still see accomplish an 8GW market in 2010, even with a demand dropoff in 3Q, Solarbuzz says.

“Despite much uncertainty over policy outcomes, a challenging economic environment and inverter supply, the PV industry is once again demonstrating that consumers respond to supportive government policies,” says Solarbuzz president Craig Stevens, in a statement. “The growth in demand is a response to major cuts in price levels afforded by lower manufacturing costs. As a result, module and inverter supply is just barely keeping up with demand.”

Click to Enlarge
Global PV market revenues. (Source: Solarbuzz)



Global PV demand as translated into revenue was about $12B in 1Q10, nearly 4× the level from the year before (see chart above). Recent price increases (e.g. from Chinese suppliers to Europe) have helped to somewhat mitigate a slumping Euro; in terms of Euro and US$ wafer prices have tightened, while cell prices have tightened in Euros over the past half-year.

Other highlights from Solarbuzz’s new report:


  • A tale of two inventories: Upstream, days-of-inventory were flat from end of 1Q10 to end of 2Q10. Dowmstream, however, DOI sunk by two-thirds during the same timespan.
  • Capacity utilization: Cell capacity utilization rose sharply in 1Q10, and many top suppliers have been at full capacity in 2Q10.
  • Tops in cells: For 1Q10 Sharp “took a clear #1 global position” based on revenues, with Suntech and First Solar close behind. FSLR was first in terms of production (MW).
  • Nod to Asia: Manufacturers in Asia are steadily improving their gross margins — “a testimony at bringing down unit costs,” Solarbuzz says.

 

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