Taiwan-based solar wafer producer Green Energy Technology (GET) has raised concerns that wafer capacity constraints in the sector could hamper downstream PV market growth in 2016.
GET noted in a financial filing regarding its September sales figures that leading wafer producers were not expanding capacity to keep pace with demand. The situation could lead to wafer supply constraints should market demand continue to remain strong next year.
According to PV Tech’s own analysis of PV manufacturers' capacity expansion plans, focus has remained on first expanding PV module capacity ahead of solar cell capacity, while very limited capital spending has been allocated to increasing in-house ingot/wafer production.
This is being compounded by major merchant wafer producers limiting spending on adding new capacity as ASPs have remained low and margins in negative territory, limiting available cash for further capacity expansions.
The largest wafer producer GCL Poly has only increased wafer production capacity by 1GW in the first half of the year, up from 13GW in 2014.
GET noted that it continued to operate its production facilities above 95% utilisation rates.
The company reported September 2015 sales of NT$1,316 million (US$40.3 million), a 1.9% increase from the previous month and just 0.4% higher than the same period a year ago.