Mon, Dec 30, 2013 - Page 13 News List

MIC sees surge in solar cell shipments this year

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Shipments from local solar cell manufactures are expected to rise 40.1 percent this year due to higher solar-system installation rates in the US and Japan as well as rising orders from China on the back of a new solar subsidy designed to curb carbon emissions, a local market researcher said.

Local manufacturers are expected to ship solar cells enough to generate 1.5 gigawatts this year, after three years of industrial downturn and subsequent restructuring, Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC, 資策會) said.

In dollar terms, shipments will increase 25 percent annually to US$3.37 billion, MIC said in a report on Friday.

“Taiwanese companies have benefited from solar disputes related to antidumping and antisubsidy measures imposed on China by Europe and the US,” MIC analyst Sean Kao (高鴻翔) said in the report. “Growing demand in the US, Japan and China have also helped.”

However, Kao said MIC had a less vigorous outlook for the industry next year.

Demand would be dampened by reduction in solar power subsidies around the world next year, which would deal a blow to solar power-system installations in Europe and the US and less solar-farm investment in emerging markets, he said.

Kao said Taiwanese companies should stay vigilant against any adverse repercussions from capacity expansion by Chinese companies as well as falling demand in the US and Europe.

Taiwanese solar-cell makers are expected to increase their capacity by 1.5 gigawatts in total to 12,374 megawatts next year from this year’s 10,801 megawatts, MIC forecast.

US research house NPD Solarbuzz is more optimistic about global demand for the solar industry next year.

Global demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) is expected to jump 36 percent to record-high 49 gigawatts next year, compared with 36 gigawatts estimated for this year, NPD Solarbuzz said in a report released on Monday last week.

“Manufacturing over-capacity and pricing erosion within the PV industry was previously a key factor in limiting annual growth to 10-20 percent between 2011 and 2013,” NPD Solarbuzz vice president Finlay Colville said. “With a more stable pricing environment and the prospects of increased end-market globalization, NPD Solarbuzz forecasts a return to annual growth above 30 percent for the PV industry in 2014.”

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