15 Feb 2012
Replacement market is bright spot in solar market's "bleak picture"
Power play: Up to 4 GW of PV capacity will need upgrading in 2012 alone.
According to the analyst’s latest quarterly updated report, revenue declines of more than 65% are forecast for the PV manufacturing equipment market in 2012. However, a new opportunity has been identified as equipment vendors seek out new market bright spots in the industry.
Aging equipment requiring upgrade or complete replacement represents the biggest opportunity currently and this is where the majority of equipment revenues will come from in 2012. The research report found that this could provide a 20 GW market opportunity for equipment suppliers, generating some $25 billion in revenues over the next four years.
Ingot, wafer, cell and module manufacturers are all placing less criticality on expanding production, and are instead focusing on increasing end-product quality and overall efficiencies. Utilization rates are at an all-time low and the current lull in new demand and capacity across the supply chain will provide a potential opportunity for PV-product makers to gain market share longer-term through upgrading equipment now.
“The inevitable market shake-out that will see less competitive product makers fall by the wayside, will stimulate further demand for equipment as existing manufacturing capacity goes offline. Manufacturing equipment companies that stand to benefit most are those that have a clear equipment upgrade strategy available to their customers. Furthermore, companies that will resist the shake-out best will be those who can go through these equipment upgrades with the least disruption, readying themselves for the time when end-demand does ultimately pick-up.”
Detailed analysis of the global PV manufacturing equipment market is provided each quarter by IMS Research’s report “The World Market for PV Manufacturing Equipment”. For more information contact Tim Dawson.
About the Author
Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org