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Global demand for PV modules to surpass 30GW this year

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PV module? global demand? utilisation rate?

According to the latest report from EnergyTrend, a research unit of Trendforce, although global grid-connected installations this year may not increase significantly compared last year, the actual demands of China, Japan, U.S., India and other emerging countries would increase. Global demands for modules will go beyond 30GW (about 32-34GW, a seven per cent increase). As a result of the increased demands and reduced supply, the PV spot price and utilisation rate are expected to rise, added the market research firm.

EnergyTrend indicated that the utilisation rate of each segment of the PV supply chain will increase in 2013 due to increased demands and reduced supply, clearer boundary between brands and OEMs, and phasing out of uncompetitive manufacturers.

Demand in the module market is expected to increase in 2013. Though the amount of grid-connected installation remains still, the actual demand would be around 32-34GW. Therefore, the demands of each segment will increase, and since supply is not increasing, the utilisation rate will rise.

In the current market, first-tier manufacturers are not eager to enhance capacity and second-tier manufacturers may receive OEM orders from first-tier manufacturers, thus most of the manufacturers that meet market requirements would be able to effectively increase the utilisation rate.

Lastly, due to the policies that regulate modules and the rise of self-consumption systems, manufacturers that lack technology to enhance cell efficiency may be phased out. On the other hand, if products were sold for a price under cost for a long time, new manufacturers and small manufacturers without cost advantage may also be eliminated.

In conclusion, the utilisation rate of each manufacturer has increased in 1Q13. However, though manufacturers have all announced full production, due to limited labour, the capacity utilisation rate could only be maintained at 60-85 per cent.

Moreover, according to EnergyTrend, cell production from the world's top ten cell manufacturers have all exceeded 1GW in 2012, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the overall capacity. Though market concentration is not as obvious as that of the wafer market, as soon as brands begin to cooperate with OEMs, more companies may transform into OEMs. In addition, module segment may also become more concentrated, and manufacturers with a large market share will be considered the most advantaged.

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