Reported by Jeanny H. Lim
What do you see as the trends and market forces driving PV technology in the second half of 2011?
There might even be a boom in the second half of this year in Germany if the feed-in tariffs are not lowered by more than 3.5% and the module prices are further decreasing. Then, I think Germany will be again the strongest market.
In Italy, with a new legislation which is effective from June 1 on, it’s always a little bit difficult to see how this develops in a country like Italy where reactions to the market are normally not so quick.
And I think France is getting less important. Spain won’t be of a very big importance. But there will be all these modules in the market, so I assume that there’ll be new markets coming up. PV will be more interesting to non-European markets such as the U.S.A. and China. And I would say the African market will grow in importance due largely to the mining applications for PV. But if this is really in the second half of this year or if this is planned right now, then realized next year, it’s difficult to guess.
How are PV prices expected to develop in the second half?
I expect the PV module prices would be stabilized at least or go even a bit further down becuase the capacity is so big and there are really no new markets. The existing ones are at least not growing. The big PV markets like Germany might grow a little bit in the second half compared to first half of the year, but then modules have to end up somewhere. I think some manufacturers might slow down their production and this could be one of the reactions. But I think in the end, there will be so many modules in the market that prices at least won’t go up.
Where do you put your focus this year, in terms of business growth and technology development?
We have the laser process to repower cells. Then we are working on other processes as well in order to repower even more cells than we can do right now. We are not able to repower every cell that we buy, so to increase our heat rate through other procedures and processes, this would be one of the objectives. Growth-wise, we have just built up in the first half of the year the capacity which went up from 35 MW to 145 MW. We are a small company, but there was heavy growth in production capacity. So we put special focus right now on purchasing enough cells to feed our cell lines. Then we’ll shift certain production to our own module fabrication which we have in Sweden. So this year we try to make something like 80~90 MW. Last year we were 20 MW, so there’s some growth. We are a niche player and our growth is limited to the number of cells we can buy which are sorted out directly after cell production. It’s limited by this.
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