Bernreuter Research: PV installation growth in 2013 to support polysilicon price rises

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Market research firm, Bernreuter Research is forecasting PV installations could reach 36GW in 2013, driving renewed polysilicon demand that is expected to push spot prices to around US$25/kg by the end of 2013.

The latest forecast could provide significant relief for the struggling polysilicon sector, after high purity polysilicon spot market prices plummeted 59% in 2011, followed by a 47% decline in 2012, reaching a record low of US$15.35/kg, according to Bernreuter Research.

Major growth markets for installations in 2013 are expected to be China, Japan and the US, which are expected to replace Europe as the key regions for PV installation growth.

Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research and author of the global polysilicon market report, The 2012 Who's Who of Solar Silicon Production,  said: “We now expect new PV installations to reach 35 to 37 gigawatts in 2013. China, Japan and the USA will replace Germany and Italy as the PV growth locomotives.”

Polysilicon production


Polysilicon production overcapacity and an inventory overhang of 25,000 MT of inventory from 2011 dogged the sector throughout 2012. The severe ASP declines forced around 50 polysilicon producers, especially small players particularly in China to halt production. Major producers, which had been in capacity expansion modes also announced cancellations of future plans and lowered production utilisation rates in the third quarter of 2012, according to the market research firm.

Preliminary estimates from Bernreuter Research suggest that the global polysilicon production volumes actually fell to approximately 235,000 MT in 2012, a drop of almost 8% from the output of 255,000 MT in 2011.

“Along with the large inventories and the supply of thin-film modules, those 235,000 MT were nonetheless sufficient for a newly installed PV capacity of 33 to 34 GW worldwide in 2012,” added Johannes Bernreuter.

Increased PV installations in 2013 are therefore expected to result in an increase in polysilicon production this year. Bernreuter expects a production growth of approximately 6.5% in 2013.

China dispute

According to Bernreuter, rumours have been circulating that China could impose import duties on foreign polysilicon of as much as 50%, after the government started an investigation into claims that polysilicon imported from the US, Europe and Korea was being sold below cost. Such claims have been refuted by major producers such as Hemlock Semiconductor and Wacker. The push for import duties came from China’s struggling polysilicon producers, although Bernreuter believes that an increase in polysilicon demand and possible import duties will do little to help the floundering sector in China.

“The manufacturing costs of most [Chinese] producers are still too high and the quality of their product is too low,” noted Bernreuter. “We assume a lot of foreign polysilicon shipments for Chinese customers will be diverted to wafer manufacturers in Taiwan and then imported as wafers or solar cells to mainland China.”

Ironically, Chinese module producers have already been forced to source solar cells from Taiwan to overcome duties imposed on Chinese solar cells by the US, after claims of dumping.

10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!
23 November 2021
The solar, storage and EV industries in the UK are going from strength to strength. There is no better place for the community to meet, share ideas and do business than Solar & Storage Live from 23-25 November at the NEC.There’s something for everyone; more than 150 exhibitors, a high-level conference, a start up and innovation zone, a poster zone, strategic partners to network with and much more. 
1 December 2021
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run online with streamed content, access to session recordings and chat/messaging tools for delegates to connect.
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.

Read Next

October 25, 2021
South African public utility Eskom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with mining companies Exxaro and Seriti Resources to help decarbonise their operations by deploying solar PV
October 25, 2021
Oil and gas company Galp has secured loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the construction of more than 2.1GWp of solar projects across Spain and Portugal.
October 25, 2021
The Cabinet of Japan’s government has approved a plan to raise the national target for renewable energy in the electricity generation mix to between 36% and 38% by 2030. 
October 22, 2021
Alight has signed agreements to build three solar parks in Sweden that according to the company will be the largest in Sweden once built with a total installed capacity of 90MW.
October 22, 2021
The clean energy business of US utility NextEra Energy had a record quarter of origination success in Q3, adding approximately 2,160MW to its backlog, including 515MW of new solar projects.
October 22, 2021
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is to fund projects aiming to extend the operational lifetime of solar PV projects to 50 years and support the development of advanced materials such as perovskites.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021