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Several reports have been released in the past few weeks detailing the projected growth of the PV market in the future years and in the latest issue of Solarbuzz Quarterly, analysts have honed in on a more specific prediction for 2010. According to the new report by Solarbuzz, the market size for 2010 is expected to reach 16.3GW, an adjustment from the previously forecasted 15.2GW that analysts thought 2010 would bring.
During the first nine months of 2010, the solar PV industry reached 10.6GW and as the market continues to increase around the world, led by Europe, which holds a 78% share in world PV demand, 2010 is geared to be one for the record books. The third quarter of 2010 saw a 4GW demand, comparably smaller than the 4.1GW demand that the quarter preceding it, but the fourth quarter is still expected to see a 43% rise and reach an all time quarterly high of 5.7GW.
Germany played a part in the decreased demand of the fourth quarter, when compared to the third quarter, as they felt the effects of mid-year reductions in incentive tariffs. On the other hand, the supply portion of the PV market saw China-based manufacturers make up 66% of 2010’s third quarter cell production. JA Solar was the highest in cell shipments during the third quarter and Solarbuzz noted that eight of the top twelve manufactures were based in either China or Taiwan.
As an outlook for next year, Solarbuzz sees the manufacturing side of the industry growing by 46% during 2011. However, tariff cuts in Germany and policy adjustments in the Czech Republic and France will contribute to a global market growth rate of only 25% during 2011. Solarbuzz predicts that as major European markets go through periods of change in 2011, the U.S., Italy, China, Canada, India and smaller European and Asian markets will see the most expansion.
"Wholesalers in Germany will defer purchases in the early months of 2011 until they start to see improving price offers from module suppliers," said Craig Stevens, president of Solarbuzz. "However, more competitive pricing will emerge during second quarter that will be sufficient to re-stimulate that market during the second half of the year."
The Solarbuzz report also called out an overload in production to lead factory gate module prices to lower over 15% during the year to fourth quarter 2011. Additionally, Germany is expected to have a less than stellar first quarter in 2011, which will directly affect module inventory build of over 3GW. Conversely, Solarbuzz concedes that other leading manufacturers may see themselves in a better position by having projects channeled out in other European countries, the U.S. and Asia.