After years of fast expansion, the industry began to see a decline in both shipments and price during the first half of 2011.
’s PV industry grew at a breakneck pace based on strong demand. Production of PV cells reached 13 GW, surging 173 percent over 2009, according to statistics from PhotonInternational. However, in 2011 several main end markets including China Germany, Spain and reduced their subsidies to the sector, which, in turn, led to a decrease in market demand followed by a drop in price. Italy
Prices for PV modules held steady at EUR1.50-2.00 (US$2.00-2.70) per watt last year, but then plunged in the beginning of 2011. The average price has now fallen below US$0.90 per watt, and downstream manufacturers are still pushing for further decreases, according to a survey by Energy Trend.
Industry players are expected to see fiercer competition this year, which will mainly be demonstrated by price cutting, said industry insiders. The trough in the pricing has given small- and mid-sized PV firms a fatal blow, and the latest data shows gross margins for those firms have recently dropped to less than 10 percent from nearly 20 percent. The reshuffle of the players in
’s PV sector is seen as inevitable. China