Solarbuzz forecasts 6.37 GW global solar PV market in 2009

According to the new Solarbuzz QUARTERLY report launched today,Solarbuzz LLC forecasts that the global solar photovoltaic (PV) marketwill reach 6.37 GW in 2009. This represents growth of 5 percent on lastyear.

* European demand will account for 71 percent of theglobal PV market, as Germany replaces Spain as the largest market.Germany’s third quarter 2009 demand of 980 MW is projected to rise to1680 MW in fourth quarter, an increase of 71.4 percent. Thiscorresponds to a total 2009 market size of 3.2 GW.

* Italy,Belgium, France and the Czech Republic together accounted for 277 MW inthird quarter 2009. This helped deliver a total European demand of 1.3GW in the third quarter of 2009, forecast to rise by 63 percent to 2.2GW in the fourth quarter.

* Third quarter demand in NorthAmerica was up 26 percent on second quarter. For the year, the NorthAmerican market will increase 54 percent over 2008 accounting for 556MW of installations in 2009, or 9% of the world market.

Global end-market PV industry revenues were $11.2 bn in third quarter 2009, up 62 percent on second quarter.

"Thecontinuation of uninterrupted PV market growth year on year hides hugechanges in the distribution of country market demand in Europe. Policyadjustment in Spain removed 42 percent of the global PV market in thefourth quarter of 2008 and it took until the middle of 2009 for thepowerful engine of the German market to replace that lost contribution,and to now exceed it," said Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz LLC.

"Thishad the effect of massively realigning economics through the PV chainduring the past year, while also setting enormous commercial challengesfor companies operating within it.

He added: "However, afteradjusting to the new global low pricing environment, the market dataconfirms that the PV industry is now delivering substantial growth inthe second half of 2009. What is more, the outlook for the firstquarter 2010 demonstrates a distinct change from the first quarter inpast years, when seasonal factors have typically caused a sharpdecrease."

On the supply side, crystalline silicon manufacturingcapacity utilization increased through each part of the PV chain in thethird quarter. Thin film capacity utilization, on the other hand,dropped in the third quarter.

Third quarter total moduleproduction (including thin films) was up 27 percent on the secondquarter. Total module inventories had increased by 15 percent at theend of third quarter, although module inventory days (includingcrystalline silicon and thin film product) declined by nine days.

Thefirst edition of Solarbuzz QUARTERLY covers the period third quarter2008 to third quarter 2009 of PV industry performance. It then goes onto offer data visibility for market demand, production, shipments,capacity utilization, module inventories, gross and net margins forfourth quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010.

This forecast is setagainst a backdrop of stronger than usual winter demand in the keyEuropean market, supplemented by large project demand from outsideEurope. Nonetheless, there will be continuing price pressure in thefirst quarter 2010 as inventories build moderately over end-2009 levels.

"Ourgoal to provide integrated PV supply/demand data by quarter has longbeen in our plans," continued Stevens. "After nine years ofestablishing Solarbuzz as a leading source of annual data for thisindustry, we were confident that reliable quarterly PV industry datawas within our reach. The new Solarbuzz QUARTERLY report is the outcomeof this year-long initiative."

Source: Solarbuzz