A new PV market report by Paula Mints of SPV Market Research in collaboration with IDTechEx paints a picture of much lower PV module shipments in 2014 than any other analysis.
According to the report, global PV module shipments in 2014 reached 39.3GW, up from 34GW in 2013, a 15% increase.
SPV and IDTechEx reported global PV installations in 2013 were around 34GW. However, according to EPIA figures released in June 2014, global installations in 2013 reached 38.4GW. Most other forecasts put final PV installations at around 37GW for 2013.
PV Tech recently reported that SEMI trade association’s polysilicon shipment data as well as REC Silicon’s own estimates, suggested a total of 271,000MT of polysilicon was shipped in 2014, indicating between 42GW to 43GW of PV modules were produced last year.
Shipments for crystalline silicon PV modules would seem to be even worse than expected when SPV and IDTechEx said that thin-film technologies accounted for 7% of total module shipments in 2014. This equates to around 2.75GW of thin-film module shipments in 2014.
However, previously guided module shipments from First Solar and Solar Frontier in the third quarter of 2014 would equate to 2.7GW of SPV and IDTechEx total.
According to SPV and IDTechEx, crystalline silicon PV module shipments totalled less than 37GW in 2014. However, the top 12 crystalline silicon PV module suppliers had previously said low range guidance for the year equated to 23.2GW, while at the high end of guidance shipments would reach around 27GW.
Market research firm, IHS had recently guided 2014 installations at 45.7GW.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) guided 2014 installs to be 48.4GW, while Mercom Capital guided global PV installations to have reached around 47.5GW.
On a separate note, SPV and IDTechEx said that supply side PV module inventory was 1.1GW at the end of 2014 and demand side inventory decreased by 400MW to 2.4GW. Defective modules removed from service were said to have totalled around 1.6GW at the end of 2014.