Report: Solar module price declines to continue into 2013 as German installs fall

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Solar module prices across most regions of the world declined in October due to weak demand in Germany, a trend set to continue into 2013, according to market research firm IHS.

Official figures just out by Germany’s Federal Network Agency put PV installations at 611MW in October, a deep drop from September’s 980MW.

And with the expectation that Germany, the world’s biggest market, would not see a meaningful end of year rush of installations, prices will continue to decline, the report said

Glenn Gu, senior analyst, photovoltaics, at IHS, said: “European demand for PV modules dropped off in October, primarily due to developments in the solar powerhouse of Germany. After PV system installations surged in September, the German solar market decelerated in October. When combined with weakening conditions in other EU countries including Greece and Bulgaria, Germany’s slowdown had a major impact on module demand and pricing in the European Union and throughout the world.”

In Europe IHS said that Chinese c-Si modules were expected to decline by 1.1% in November. This comes on top of ASP declines between September and October of between 1.9% and 3.5% across Europe, China and the US, as well as in Japan.

According to the market research firm, ASP declines were driven mostly by plunging costs among third-tier Chinese suppliers. Module prices for these suppliers dropped by nearly 5% in October, noted IHS.

However, the biggest decline in costs in the month of October occurred in the US, as Chinese-made c-Si modules saw a 3.5% fall in pricing to US$0.69 per watt, down from US$0.71 in September.

Yet China is following in its footsteps as the utility-scale market picks-up speed. Module ASPs averaged US$0.58/W in October.

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