Lux Research: PV materials market to make major rebound

  • The market research firm is forecasting the materials market to go from sales of US$17.8 billion in 2012 to US$27.2 billion in 2018.

According to Lux Research the global PV materials market is set to make a significant recovery on the back of supply and demand coming back into balance in 2015.

The market research firm is forecasting the materials market to go from sales of US$17.8 billion in 2012 to US$27.2 billion in 2018.

Metals, including polysilicon, metallization pastes, and metallic absorber materials used for CIGS thin-film would show the strongest growth. The polysilicon market is expected to reach US$6 billion in the time frame, while metals overall would top US$12.8 billion.

Fatima Toor, Lux Research analyst said, “Differentiated materials that enable high cell or module efficiencies or longer lifetime will be able to earn a premium and cash in on the growing demand. In addition, the push towards improved quality will lead to materials innovations that not only drive down the US$/W but also the US$/kWh, enabling sustainable growth of global PV demand.”

According to Lux Research, materials needed for crystalline silicon modules present the largest market opportunity, reaching US$23.8 billion in 2018. Materials like backsheets, non-EVA encapsulants, metallization pastes, and antireflection (AR) coatings for module glass provide opportunity for innovation and the cornerstone of quality product usage.

The solar industry was said to now prioritizes low US$/kWh on top of US$/W, offering modules with a longer lifetime. Material suppliers like DuPont and downstream developers are setting a new standard. Simultaneously, companies such as Solar Buyer are helping financial institutions better rate module quality.



Yingli Dismantling Its Vertical Integration On March 20, Yingli (YGE) announced that the company had entered intoa non-binding strategic cooperation framework agreement with GCL-Poly Energy which is a polysilicon and wafer supplier listed in Hong Kong. GCL-Poly is also a coal-fired and solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant investor and operator. Though agreement details were not disclosed, YGE would purchase polysilicon material and wafer from GCL-Poly that would, in turn, buy modules from YGE for PV power projects. This is said to leverage advantages in the whole PV value chain for both parties, but it is more important for YGE to move away from its vertical integration strategy and to seek partnerships for product manufacturing cost down with no quality compromise. YGE is a believer of the PV vertical integration business model especially when polysilicon is priced at high level. YGE is ambitious of capacity expansion and able to manage the whole PV value chain in terms of PV product pricing, cost control and project development in China. Under the circumstance of PV market demand/supply imbalance and consolidation, the weaknesses of vertical integration such as cost down constraints and process inefficiency are emerging. It is insightful for YGE to unfasten its supply chain and partner with top players at each PV segment to profitably achieve a 3.2GW shipment goal this year. YGE is a perfect PV vertical integrator From its inception, YGE has set up and expanded in-house manufacturing capacity from ingot to module at the same proportion. Each of YGE’s manufacturing bases covers the vertically integrated value chain from ingot casting to module assembly, which benefits YGE cost effectiveness in terms of intermediate product transportation and manufacturing process optimization as a whole. From 2009 to 2012, YGE’s ingot, wafer, cell and module capacities are expanded from 600MW to 2450MW each, as shown below. (click to enlarge) Заседание Правительства РФ 7 марта 2013г. стенограмма,32:51

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