IMS Research has reported that from Q4’10, module shipments are due to take a downturn, declining by almost 10% quarter-on-quarter in Q1’11. This contradicts the shipment increases which have been apparent for six consecutive quarters since Q1’09.
The analyst predicts that the first quarter of 2011 will be very different to the first quarter of 2010 when speculation of additional cuts to incentive schemes drove unusually high demand in Europe and prompted extensive production capacity expansions across the globe.
Sam Wilkinson, research analyst at IMS said, “We predict the return of classic seasonal installation patterns and forecast that completed installations will decrease by nearly 40% in Q1’11 versus Q4’10. This fall in demand for installations after 31st December 2010, combined with huge capacity expansions certainly poses some problems for the market. We predict a sharp slowdown in module shipments from Q4’10 and PV module prices are forecast to decline once again during the first half of 2011.”
After declining by an average of 10% each quarter in 2009, high demand resulted in relatively small price decreases from Q4’09 to Q1’10, says IMS Research. Factory-gate prices of crystalline modules fell just 2% in euros between the two quarters, despite the German FiT reducing by 9 to11% as planned at the end of the year.
In Q2’10, average crystalline module prices are estimated to have increased by 1% in euros over the previous quarter. By the end of the year, prices are forecast to fall just 1% from their levels in the final quarter of 2009.
PV Module Shipments and Production Capacity – IMS Research