Top Stories 2008 - Market Watch – a year of growth and change

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

The PV industry has had another explosive growth year in 2008. As is often the case, news in only the last few months of the year have painted the perception that things are turning for the worse as the credit crunch manifested in the U.S. turns into a global economic recession, impacting the growth in the PV sector along the way.

When reviewing the top news stories within the ‘Market Watch’ section, it was pleasing to see that there was a balanced mix between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ news that generated the most traffic.

With the economic crisis gaining momentum in September 2008, our coverage of a market research report from Lux Research in early October highlighted that the industry was on the verge of a period of module overcapacity leading to falling ASPs that would wipe out many smaller module manufacturers in 2009.

Since then, we have seen many PV manufacturers lower revenue and production guidance as well as announce shutdowns for extended periods over the holiday period (Q-Cells, for example). Worse still is the hazy news coming out of China that many small module manufacturers have closed shop and laid off workers as demand falls due to the lack of project finance that is an important aspect of the larger-scale PV installations.

However, Lux Research noted that the PV industry is still expected to grow 48% per annum through 2013, and reaching 23GW, compared to 4.9GW in 2008. Another positive, perhaps lost in the recent noise surrounding Q-Cells’ revised guidance, was the fact that it still expects revenues to grow by 40% plus in 2009, while almost doubling capacity to meet demand.

In November 2008, we covered news from market research firm iSuppli Corp., which noted that polysilicon prices were heading significantly south in 2009, to perhaps as low as US$100 per kilogram (spot price) as overcapacity looms large. In recent weeks, MEMC, for example, has lowered revenue projections, while polysilicon users rush to renegotiate contract prices, cancel orders and make revisions to delivery schedules, further impacting the polysilicon supply chain.

As polysilicon spot market prices topped US$500 per kilogram in 3Q08, the emergence of thin-film manufacturing this year is no coincidence. A report from the Prometheus Institute proved very popular as the thin-film market was projected to reach 40% of worldwide photovoltaic production by 2012.

A shock piece of news that caught many by surprise (including myself) was the expected establishment of a UK feed-in tariff for renewable energies. Early days yet for the UK but it does reflect developments finally taking shape in other EU countries such as Italy, France and Greece that will become significant new markets for PV through 2015 under variously structured incentives.


19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 30, 2021
Not only will solar be the dominant source of new power generation in Europe by 2025, cementing its position as the third largest market for solar globally, but the continent has placed the asset class at the very heart of its COVID-19 recovery strategy. As part of a week-long special report on PV Tech Premium, Liam Stoker, Edith Hancock and Jules Scully explore the drivers for solar in Europe, the key markets and the challenges that remain.
July 30, 2021
First Solar has unveiled plans to construct a 3.3GWdc module assembly facility in India, bolstering its manufacturing footprint outside of the US.
July 30, 2021
Anglo-Australian mining company BHP, in partnership with Canada’s TransAlta Renewables, is to build two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power its Mt Keith and Leinster nickel mines in Western Australia
July 30, 2021
German energy giant RWE has upgraded its earnings forecast for 2021 after “exceptionally positive” earnings trend
July 29, 2021
Tracker and racking provider Arctech has delivered SkySmart II tracking system to a 575MW agriculture-sharing solar project located in Nangong City, Hebei Province, China.
July 29, 2021
Unigreen Energy, owned by Hevel majority shareholder Ream Management LLC, has broken ground on a wafer and cell manufacturing plant that will produce 1.3GW of silicon n-type monocrystalline ingots and wafers as well as 1GW of heterojunction technology (HJT) solar cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021