European firms threatened by solar industry shake-up

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

Over the coming months the solar industry is set to experience its own version of natural selection, as surplus capacity and falling prices triggers a significant reduction of the number of companies in the marketplace, according to a new report from Bank Sarasin.

However, the paper, titled ‘Solar industry: Survival of the fittest in a fiercely competitive marketplace’, claims that this shake-up will actually benefit the industry in the long term. By ridding itself of the weaker companies, overall growth prospects will improve, with new sales markets and additional applications for PV encouraging newly installed capacity to rise by an annual average rate of 18% between now and 2015.

The long-standing imbalance between supply and demand – production capacity stands at 50GW and end-of-year sales are likely to be 21GW – has seen industry analysts forecasting a reduction in the number of companies for several years. Small- and medium-sized companies are likely to be the major victims, while their internationally diversified and vertically integrated rivals, such as Suntech Power, First Solar and Solarworld, benefiting from the changing landscape.

European companies appear particularly vulnerable to the possible cull due to the expected stagnation, or even contraction, of the PV market on the continent. Among the firms likely to be affected are household names Conergy, Q-Cells, Solar-Fabrik and Sunways.

While Europe suffers, Bank Sarasin is predicting grown in several emerging solar markets and by 2013 more than 10 PV markets will have an installed capacity of at least 500MW. PV markets will not only become more diversified in geographic terms but also in terms of the different applications for solar installations, and the companies that will profit most from this change will be those which develop new products and services to augment their module sales.

A similar pattern is likely to emerge in the thin-film sector. Over the past 12 months, the number of companies in the thin-film industry has reduced by one-third, leaving just 100 remaining active. However, the future is bright for many of these. By 2013 all the top 10 companies will have at least 500MW of production capacity and, boosted by large, financially strong corporations such as First Solar, Sharp, ShowaShell, GE and Hanergy, thin-film technologies should be able to achieve average annual growth rates of 32% over the next two years.

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 28, 2021
Amidst a need to scale up solar this decade, PV Tech Premium speaks to Vassilis Papaeconomou, managing director at renewables service provider Alectris, to learn how the solar industry can scale up efficiently, what asset owners and operators need to be aware of when buzzwords such as ‘digitalisation’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ are mentioned, and what the industry might learn from more mature technologies such as wind.
July 28, 2021
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has unveiled formal plans to replace its existing solar support framework with a new incentive programme which will support up to 3.75GW of new solar over the next five years.
July 28, 2021
Generating electricity from renewable sources in Europe is now half the price of fossil fuels as polluting power production on the continent fails to recover from the pandemic and renewables grow, according to a new report by the Ember energy thinktank.
July 28, 2021
Solar and storage provider Sunnova, SolarEdge Technologies and National Grid have partnered on a grid stability project in New England, US
July 28, 2021
Two US Senators have introduced a bipartisan energy tax proposal to encourage innovation in the clean energy sector and rapidly scale up new technologies.
July 28, 2021
Chinese inverter manufacturer Sungrow has opened another research and development (R&D) centre in Nanjing, China that will focus on smart technologies, big data and software integration

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021