The period of ‘profitless prosperity’ in the PV industry is finally at an end. Throughout 2013, despite continued economic woes, the PV industry has continued to expand and finally become a global industry. Market forecasts indicating that the sector could reach its next 100GW milestone in just the next two years suggest the industry is on the cusp of another period of strong growth. All the signs confirm this is the case, with utilization rates at their highest level since 2010, companies reporting full order books well into next year and the first tentative announcements of factory capacity expansions making the headlines. Although the really significant capacity expansions that would confirm a fullblooded upswing have yet to materialize, ‘effective capacity’ in 2014 is highly unlikely to meet end-market demand, should forecasts of 45 to 55GW come true. When the next technology and buy cycle occurs is still a moot point but it’s closer than many would have dared to think at the beginning of this year. The 22nd edition of Photovoltaics International will be an indispensible resource as that buy cycle draws nearer.
In the ever-changing global solar markets, cost reduction and measures to increase cell efficiencies are the key tools available to PV manufacturers to create new opportunities and drive your business to the next level. Manufacturing the Solar Future 2013 is the third in the Photovoltaics International PV Production Annual series, delivering the next instalment of in-depth technical manufacturing information on PV production processes designed to help you gain the competitive edge.