On September 20th, 2010,Solarbuzz released its latest quarterlyreport, estimating that global solar photovoltaic (PV) demand reached3.82GW in the second quarter of 2010, up 54% from the first quarter of2010 and resulting in USD$17.2 billion in industry revenues. Solarbuzzfurther estimates that over 15GW will be installed this year across theglobe. Similar to other analysts, Solarbuzz is predicting a smallermarket in 2011 as cuts to feed-in tariffs in Germany and other Europeannations take effect. "The rush to install in Germany ahead of tariffdeclines in mid-2010, combined with strong incentive programs acrossEurope, especially in Italy, France and the Czech Republic and animproved financing environment, drove the global PV market over threetimes the level in Q2’09", noted Solarbuzz President Craig Stevens.
Germany remains demand leader
This strong market for the second quarter of 2010resulted in a market only 2% smaller than in the fourth quarter of 2009, when 3.92GW of PV was installed globally. Solarbuzz reports thatGermany, at 2.3GW, accounted for 60% of the total demand, with Italycoming in second at 7% of total demand. The company estimates thatItaly’s market grew 127% quarter to quarter.
Solarbuzz also notes that polysilicon, wafer andcell manufacturers reached utilization rates between 75% and 87%, withwafer capacity "the most constrained part of the supply chain", despitean increase in global wafer processing capacity of 495MW.
Chinese manufacturers continue dominance
According to the report, Chinese manufacturerscontinue to solidify their market dominance. Among cell manufacturershipments, Suntech Power Holding Company Ltd. (Wuxi, China), JA SolarHoldings Company Ltd. (Shanghai, China), Yingli Green Energy HoldingCompany Ltd. (Baoding, China) and Trina Solar Ltd. (Changzhou, China)were all in the top five. Among the top 12 cell manufacturers, sixChinese manufacturers accounted for 55% of product sold. Solarbuzz alsonotes that after six quarters of declines, there were modest rises inshort-term contract prices in Europe.
The company predicts that markets will significantly contract in 2011, particularly in the first quarter, when Solarbuzzprojects demand to be less than 50% of production capacity. SolarbuzzPresident Steven further noted that historically the PV industry hastreated market uncertainly over-optimistically.