Recent earnings reports are confirming that module suppliers have now accepted that previous full-year 2012 shipment forecasts were too optimistic. This is revealed bycomparing the most recent shipment guidance withthe previous round of earnings reports (reporting for Q1’12), when all major manufacturers had full-year shipment growth estimates in the strong double-digit range, with some guiding up to 50% growth.
The main fuel used in Polish power plants is still coal. In fact, 91% of the energy used in Poland is conventional. The plans of the Polish government, resulting in, amongst others, from the European Union’s Directive 2009/28/EC requiring an increase of renewable energy generation to 15% by 2020, indicate that a lot of investment will need to be undertaken in the oncoming years.
Book-to-bill ratios are often overlooked as providing nothing other than an instantaneous snapshot of historic tool shipments and order intake levels. Within a healthy industry, whether these ratios are hovering above or below parity is generally considered as a leading indicator for equipment suppliers’ manufacturing pipelines and near-term revenue-recognition.
As the third quarter of 2012 comes to an end - and many of the leading module suppliers are in the midst of reporting second quarter results and attempting to offer guidance for full-year 2012 shipments - it is now becoming possible to form a picture of what the 2012 PV shipment rankings will look like by year-end.
When final numbers are counted for capital equipment suppliers to the PV industry for 2012, the data will reveal a somewhat misleading picture. And one that was certainly not on the radar of any PV equipment supplier just 12 months ago.
Company executives and analysts alike face a number of difficulties in answering this very important question. To reach the answer requires strong fundamentals in solar PV economics. This, however, is unfortunately not enough. The data necessary to answer the question are difficult to collect and even more difficult to structure and maintain. Further, the data are highly dynamic: US incentives change in structure, decrease or expire and electricity prices change in both magnitude and composition. All of these variables affect a market’s attractiveness, which itself can change substantially over time.
By 2016, the federal 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the California Solar Initiative (CSI), the nation’s largest ratepayer funded program, will have expired. A key question lingering until then will be: “Can the US PV industry be weaned off government subsidies and therefore become self-sustaining?”
The successful deployment of renewable energy, including solar, is critical for America’s future energy supply. Recently, a lease financing mechanism has been one of the most powerful drivers of solar power deployment in the US. Though solar leases have helped grow the industry, the authors contend that they come at an inflated and higher than intended cost to the US taxpayer compared to cash purchases. Further, if these inflated taxpayer costs become politicized, the industry may suffer another setback.
The Battle of Balaclava in 1854 between the Russian and British-Turkish forces in the Crimean War was notorious for heavy British casualties caused by miscommunication between the commander-in-chief and the cavalry commanders, in which the brigade attempted a much more difficult objective than originally intended.
Installed PV system pricing, customer segmentation, application-type segmentation and overall market growth are beginning to show significant differences across major Asia Pacific (APAC) markets. This differentiation can often be linked directly to the dominance (or lack thereof) of major module manufacturers within the various APAC countries.