During the 25th EU PVSEC in Valencia, IMS Research revealed the conclusions from its ongoing analysis of the cell and module industries. According to IMS, PV module shipments grew for the sixth consecutive quarter to 4.4GW during 2010’s second quarter. Channel inventory continued at a high rate, with almost the same number being posted at the end of the quarter. Nevertheless, cell and module suppliers are anticipating the worst and keeping vigilant of how the market will react when incentive cuts in Germany, Italy, France Czech Republic and other markets are marked to begin at the end of this year.
“In the last week we have spoken to dozens of suppliers throughout the entire supply chain,” commented PV research analyst, Sam Wilkinson (pictured), “very few are reporting any visibility beyond the fourth quarter and are bracing themselves for a major reduction in demand and shipments .”
“IMS Research forecasts that the end of 2010, which has been an incredible year for the PV industry, will be marked by over 5 GW of PV installations being connected to the grid in the final quarter alone. However, installations are predicted to decline by 65% sequentially during the first quarter of 2011,” Wilkinson continued.
IMS assessed that at the end of this year’s second quarter 4.3GW of PV modules had been shipped by suppliers, but not installed. Conversely, IMS noted that many of the shipped modules are not idly standing by, but are in active transit from Asia, moving through distribution channels or installed in systems that have not yet been connected to the grid.
Looking toward 2011, IMS states that while inventory levels will more than likely decrease in the fourth quarter due to completion of installations, the high inventory levels will possibly influence shipments during the beginning of 2011 owing to the forecasted deceleration in demand.