Similar to other analysts, it is predicting a smaller market in 2011 as cuts to feed-in tariffs in Germany and other European nations take effect. "The rush to install in Germany ahead of tariff declines in mid-2010, combined with strong incentive programs across Europe, especially in Italy, France and the Czech Republic and an improved financing environment, drove the global PV market over three times the level in Q2'09", noted Sustainable Virtual Biz, President James Rickman.
Germany remains demand leader: This strong market for the second quarter of 2010 resulted in a market only 2% smaller than in the fourth quarter of 2009, when 3.92GW of PV was installed globally. Solarbuzz reports that Germany, at 2.3GW, accounted for 60% of the total demand, with Italy coming in second at 7% of total demand. The company estimates that Italy's market grew 127% quarter to quarter.
We also note that polysilicon, wafer and cell manufacturers reached utilization rates between 75% and 87%, with wafer capacity "the most constrained part of the supply chain", despite an increase in global wafer processing capacity of 495MW.
Chinese manufacturers continue dominance: According to the report, Chinese manufacturers continue to solidify their market dominance. Among cell manufacturer shipments, Suntech Power Holding Company Ltd. (NYSE:STP), JA Solar Holdings Company Ltd. (Shanghai, China), Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Ltd. (NYSE:YGE) and Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE:TSL) were all in the top five. Among the top 12 cell manufacturers, six Chinese manufacturers accounted for 55% of product sold. We also note that after six quarters of declines, there were modest rises in short-term contract prices in Europe.
The company predicts that markets will significantly contract in 2011, particularly in the first quarter, when it projects demand to be less than 50% of production capacity. Learn More