Significant mismatch between solar cell shipment targets and likely 2009 results!

Young Market Research (YMR) has released the first issue of its Monthly Solar Cell Capacity, Shipment and Company Profile Database and Report.This three-in-one report features essential supply, shipment andcompany profile data and analysis on over 210 different cellmanufacturers.

According to Ross Young, YMR President: “Thefirst issue of this report shows that solar cell manufacturers arecurrently overly optimistic on the 2009 market. Aggregating their 2009shipment forecasts results in a market size of 10.4GWs, up 39 percentvs. the 2008 total of 7.5GWs and well beyond the likely outcome of5.5-7.5GWs. As a result, we expect to see many companies reducing their2009 guidance in coming quarters.”

According to Young, the lackof growth in 2009 can be attributed to the factors below and are toomuch to overcome despite healthy reductions in costs and prices.

* An 80 percent decline in Spain, the largest PV market in 2008, due to a 500MW cap on subsidies.
* A harsh winter in Germany, the #2 market in 2008 and expected to be the largest in 2009.
* Tighter credit worldwide for photovoltaic (PV) system financing.
* A declining global economy.
* Significant product inventory in the reseller channel at the beginning of the year.

Report highlights:
*After holding the #3 position in shipments in 2008, First Solar isexpected to grab the #1 position for the first time in 2009 with ahealthy share advantage over its top competitors on cost leadership andstrong demand from the growing utility market.

* Thin filmtechnologies a-Si and CIGS are expected to occupy 17 percent ofworldwide capacity in 2009, but just 9 percent of shipments ontechnical challenges, higher capital costs in the case of a-Si, higherbalance of system costs due to lower efficiencies and strong pricecompetition from CdTe and c-Si technologies whose costs and prices arefalling rapidly. This report shows 93 cell manufacturers participatingin a-Si or CIGS.

* The 2009 capacity growth rate will be 40percent slower than 2008 as suppliers look to preserve cash. A majorityof listed companies lost money in Q1’09 with average operating marginsfalling from double-digits through Q3’08 to 3% in Q1’09.

* A 42percent CAGR in nameplate capacity to 50GWs in 2012 with at least 18percent annual growth as healthy demand growth returns in 2010 due tolower prices and larger stimulus programs worldwide.

* China isexpected to lead in total capacity throughout the forecast with adominant share in c-Si capacity and the top share in thin film capacityfrom 2009.