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Taiwan PV makers gain from mono-si self-consumption in Europe

Posted: 23 Oct 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PV? mono-si cell? FiT?

According to EnergyTrend, a research arm of TrendForce, there is continued increase for PV self-consumption in Europe due to the decreased FiT and the increased electricity price and surcharge fees for grid-connection. However, the installation area for roof-top systems is somewhat limited, thus relevant users mostly pay more attention on the amount of electricity generated. This, along with concerns towards visual and aesthetic quality, has caused demand for mono-si cells to increase significantly, added the market research firm.

As indicated by EnergyTrend's investigation, mono-si cell orders substantially rose among Taiwan's cell manufacturers recently. The proportion of mono-si cell shipment has also been raised for relevant manufacturers. The investigation result showed that that the proportion of mono-si cell shipment for Taiwan's first-tier manufacturers has increased from five per cent in the beginning of the year to more than 20 per cent. Starting from Q2, mono-si cell demand has started to increase. Orders in H2 are likely to continuously increase because of the growth in the Japanese market. In addition, demand in Q4 may further increase. As for mono-si cell efficiency, it has remained above 19.2 per cent. The advanced technology will likely bring the product efficiency to 19.4 per cent from 4Q13 to 1Q14.

On the other hand, with the concept of self-consumption gradually maturing, roof-top systems have become the mainstream in the region that has a matured PV market. Based on the data, 53 per cent of the roof-top systems have been used on residential and commercial areas in the European market in 2012. EnergyTrend estimates that the proportion will increase to around 55 per cent in 2013 and close to 60 per cent by 2014. Aside from residential and commercial areas, roof-top systems can also be used on industrial areas as the proportion of self-consumption within the industrial areas begins to increase, which also helps raise the ratio of roof-top systems within the global PV market.

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According to EnergyTrend's data, roof-top market represents 60 per cent of the global PV market. The percentage is the highest, about 80 per cent, in the European regions. As for Northern America and Asia and Pacific, it's around 50 per cent. EnergyTrend indicates that the market share of roof-top systems will continuously increase in Europe. Moreover, under the influence of other PV policies, mono-si products will become the major products promoted by Taiwan's manufacturers.

Although last week's average price remained steady, certain manufacturers have planned to expand the production capacity due to the increased market demand and high utilisation rate for major manufacturers. For wafers, last week's average price of multi-si wafers was $0.886/piece, a 0.11 per cent drop. It's because some buyers used better payment terms in exchange for better price. For mono-si wafers, last week's average price remained flat. For cells, last week's average price also remained steady with the lowest price reaching $0.31/W, which was caused by the loosened price on the normal-grade products for certain second/third-tier manufacturers. For modules, last week's average price was unchanged. The price gap has reduced between first-tier and second-tier manufacturers as second-tier's utilisation rate has significantly increased. It is worth observing how the future pricing trend will develop from this point forward.

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