Solar market exceeded Applied Materials expectations in 2010: even better this year

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

In reporting its first quarter fiscal 2011 financial results, Mike Splinter, chairman and chief executive officer of Applied Materials cited that the solar market had exceeded its expectations in 2010 and that he expected crystalline silicon solar equipment spending to increase by more than 30% in 2011. He said that over 6GW of PV modules were installed in the fourth quarter of 2010, bringing the total for the year to 17GW.

Record orders within its Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) segment were reported at US$668 million in the first quarter, up 22% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. The backlog in its EES segment stood at approximately US$1 billion at the end of the last quarter.

Net sales for the segment were US$476 million, down 22% from the fiscal fourth quarter which included US$230 million in thin film equipment sales.

However, sales of crystalline solar equipment grew almost 30%, helping to offset in part, the large SunFab order sign-off that occurred in the previous quarter.

Applied reported net quarterly sales and profitability records in crystalline silicon equipment. Operating income increased to US$144 million or 30% of net sales. The non-GAAP segment operating margin exceeded 25%, according to the company.

The Precision Wafering Systems (PWS) division within the EES segment passed an important milestone by shipping its 2,000th wire saw system. This was augmented with both its Baccini and PWS teams each shipping over 200 systems in the quarter.

Splinter noted that these shipment figures were more than the total number of units shipped in the first three quarters of 2010.
“Crystalline Silicon bookings are at a record level, indicating another strong quarter of growth in Q2. Our visibility through the second half of the year is strengthening but is still limited,” commented Splinter in the financial analyst conference call.

The cautious tone was in contrast to Splinters PV market forecast for this year. According to Applied Materials, it expects PV module installations to be in the region of 21GW-25GW, with the German and Italian markets projected to make up over half of the installations this year. Splinter noted that both the Californian and Chinese markets were becoming increasingly significant, though didn’t provide any figures.

The executive also noted that crystalline silicon module prices continued to fall, reaching spot prices as low as US$1.50 per watt in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“Our top customers remain profitable, are running their factories at full utilization and are increasing capacity. We are now projecting Crystalline Silicon CapEx for 2011 in the range of US$7 billion to US$9 billion, an increase of about 30% year-over-year. We expect 90% of this new capacity to be added in China and Taiwan,” noted Splinter.

With 28GW of PV module production capacity installed, Splinter noted that there was still not enough silicon or enough wafering capacity available to meet market demand this year.

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.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
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.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.

Read Next

December 1, 2021
Major US bank Wells Fargo has closed its maiden tax equity investment into a colocated solar-storage project currently under construction in New Mexico, US.
PV Tech Premium
December 1, 2021
The price of shipping containers from Asia to Europe and North America remains high but should start to come down in the new year, although the main price drops won’t occur in earnest until 2023 when new capacity is brought online. That additional capacity, however, may be offset by new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules to address the industry’s emissions
December 1, 2021
Enefit Green, the renewables subsidiary of Estonian state-owned utility Eesti Energia, is looking to procure up to 500MW of solar modules in the next three years.
December 1, 2021
Tech major Amazon has added a further 2GW to its committed utility-scale solar PV capacity, adding projects in the US and Europe to its renewables portfolio.
December 1, 2021
Global solar PV deployment is on track to grow by 17% this year in spite of surging commodity prices increasing manufacturing costs, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
December 1, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved the extension of Poland’s auction scheme for renewable resources that is predicted to support the creation of 9GW of renewables after it passed EU state aid rules

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal