• Print

Solar module inventories reach a massive 10GW, says IMS Research

PV module inventory levels have ballooned to record levels, according to market research firm IMS Research. An incredible 8GW of modules are said to be in the supply chain, while a further 2GW is sitting in PV manufacturer warehouses, waiting to be shipped. The global PV industry has been hit by weak demand across key European markets such as Germany and Italy, while feed-in tariff reviews in Italy and UK have also contributed to lacklustre installation figures that have lasted until May.  Inventory levels at manufacturers, distributors, integrators and installers have all climbed during the first half of 2011, according to the analysts.

IMS Research explained that this high level of inventory has yet to be installed, with the result that module prices are falling rapidly as PV suppliers throughout the supply chain become increasingly desperate to shift excess stock.

“Throughout 2010, when all products were moving quickly through the supply chain, channel inventory typically stood at four to five gigawatts; which is roughly equivalent to one quarter’s production. Generally speaking, a module will take around three months to be shipped, transported, and make its way through distribution channels before being installed, so this figure appears reasonable,” commented PV research analyst Sam Wilkinson. “Many in the industry consider today’s inventory level to be shocking. However, it represents an increase of only around three to four gigawatts over ‘normal’ levels.”

IMS Research predicted that further declines in average PV module prices will lead to a strong recovery in the PV market, leading to a decline in the high inventory levels in the third quarter of 2011. The market research firm believes that falling prices would benefit growth in Germany and the USA in particular.

PV-Tech Storage Promo


Preview Latest
We won't share your details - promise!


  • Photovoltaics International 26th Edition

    Looking back, 2014 was a year of convalescence for a PV industry still battered and bruised from a period of ferocious competition. End-market demand continued apace, with analysts towards the end of 2014 predicting the year would see between around 45 and 50GW of deployment. That has begun to feed through to the supplier end of the market, with all the main manufacturers announcing capacity expansions in 2015 and further ahead.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2014 Production Annual

    Although the past few years have proved extremely testing for PV equipment manufacturers, falling module prices have driven solar end-market demand to previously unseen levels. That demand is now starting to be felt by manufacturers, to the extent that leading companies are starting to talk about serious capacity expansions later this year and into 2015. This means that the next 12 months will be a critical period if companies throughout the supply chain are to take full advantage of the PV industry’s next growth phase.



Solar Media