According to Solarbuzz Inc., downstream solar Photovoltaic (PV) inventories are currently building to unsustainable levels. The company’s ‘Solarbuzz Quarterly’ concludes that these inventory levels and a reduction in demand will lead to an ‘exceptionally difficult’ second half of 2011.
“2011 will be a challenging year for the industry as it manages a slowdown in the market,” said Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz. “Europe will not be the growth engine it has been in recent years, and manufacturers will need to access new markets or be exposed to the risk of rising inventories or production cuts during a period of falling prices.”
Global PV Demand Off to ‘Peak Start’ in 2011
Solarbuzz notes that preliminary estimates put German demand for the first quarter of 2011 at less than 50% of its first quarter 2010 level. The company expects a spike in demand in European markets leading to global demand of 7.4 GW in the second quarter of 2011, as developers and system owners rush to stay ahead of mid-year FiT reductions.
In the second half of 2011, Solarbuzz predicts that a supply and demand imbalance will require a slowdown in production to avoid excessive inventory build-up. The company also states that any major changes to government PV policies as a result of the disaster at Japans Fukushima nuclear plant will not impact demand until 2012.
First Solar, Low-Cost Asian Producers in a Better Position
Solarbuzz also states that First Solar Inc. and low-cost Asian producers will be the least vulnerable to the impacts of a slower market in the second half of 2011. However, the report also states that all manufacturers will face price pressure by the end of the year.
Solarbuzz further predicts that the market share of thin film will be at 11% in the fourth quarter of 2011, and an increase in Chinese and Taiwanese crystalline silicon production.
Further Information: Solarbuzz Inc. (http://www.solarbuzz.com/)
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