Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top 15 producers of c-Si and thin film solar PV modules, and outlook 2011

I am extremely grateful to Stefan de Haan, senior analyst, Photovoltaics, iSuppli Corp., for sharing with me the top 15 global producers of c-Si and thin film solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, respectively during Q3 2010.

First, the top 15 global crystalline module producers (see Fig. 1) — who are the standout performers and why?Source: iSuppli, USA.

He said: “It is still the Chinese integrated suppliers, above all Trina and Yingli. They benefit from a highly competitive cost structure. However, this need not be the most successful business model in future. With increasing cell and module efficiencies, and an increasing need for full automization, European and Japanese companies may gain ground again.”

Now, on to the top 15 global thin film module producers (see Fig. 2)– who are the standout performers here!Source: iSuppli, USA.

de Haan added: “Still, it is First Solar, the company with lowest production cost in the industry and the biggest module producer. CIGS is upcoming, in particular. Solar Frontier also has to be watched.”

Global PV installations to grow significantly in 2011
It is said that global PV installation will likely witness moderate growth in 2011, and that, concerns of oversupply remain. de Haan agrees only partly.

He said: “Global PV installations will again grow significantly in 2011 (2010: 16 GW and 2011: 22.2 GW). Oversupply will not be dramatic in 2011, but in 2012 and 2013.”

Further, if the pressure from decreasing solar cell price continues to increase, will solar cell makers be forced to reduce prices of wafers and poly-Si to reflect costs? According to Stefan de Haan, prices will drop across the entire solar value chain in 2011!

Outlook for solar cell production in 2011
Monitoring the outlook in 2011 for the global solar cell production equipment during 2011 should be fascinating, what with several new projects along the way.

Stefan de Haan said: “There are significant expansion projects announced for the next years, in particular for 2011 and 2012. We don’t expect the speed of expansion to continue like this (oversupply ahead), and so, the capital spending of solar cell makers may slow down already next year.

Outlook for global solar PV industry in 2011
On the same note, it would be interesting to understand the outlook for the global solar PV industry in 2011, especially in terms of industry growth and revenue.

de Haan added: “Global module revenues in 2011 will grow to $42 billion, from $33 billion in 2011. Global module production in 2011 will grow to 26 GW, from 17.7 GW in 2010. Therefore, 2011 will again be a strong year! The correction phase will start in 2012 and maybe, last through 2013.”

Indian solar/PV scene
Finally, India! Recently, the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN) put out the list — a total of 37 – of selected solar projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru-National Solar Mission Phase 1, Batch 1. Naturally, I asked the analyst’s opinion on the Indian solar/PV industry.

Stefan de Haan noted: “PV markets in India will not skyrocket like Spain in 2008 or Germany in 2010. However, they will grow sustainably. What we see today is only the beginning. The development of the domestic market is the chance for the Indian PV manufacturers. Nevertheless they as well have to prepare for dropping prices.”

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