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Published on August 31st, 2014 | by James Ayre


No Solar Panel Supply Shortage Coming, According To IHS Technology

August 31st, 2014 by  

Despite some talk to the contrary, there will be no solar module supply shortage next year, according to a recent report from IHS Technology.

While most of the main players in the solar industry are expanding, current capacities are still sufficient to meet the projected 2014 market of 45.5 GW, per IHS Technology.

Photo courtesy SCHOTT Solar AG

Photo courtesy SCHOTT Solar AG


IHS Technology solar analyst Stefan de Haan argues that reports stating that solar module supplies are depleting too rapidly to meet demand are inaccurate. While the previous glut had diminished, supplies are still sufficient.

Speaking with pv magazine, de Haan elaborated: “However, we don’t see a shortage coming up, current capacities are still sufficient to serve a 2014 market of 45.5 GW, which is the forecast in our most likely scenario. So, in 2014, the market is pretty balanced, as installation markets are continuing to grow, and there have been no major capacity expansions last year, which helped the supply demand gap to close.”

Commenting on the current state of the market, he also noted that following a somewhat “slow” first quarter, global utilization rates have begun improving — ending with the prediction that they would continue increasing for the rest of the year.

“For the cell industry we see global factory utilization at 85% in Q4 2014, for the module industry we see it at 75%. These values indicate good business and a healthy situation, but not a real shortage. The leading cell and module manufacturers are operating at full utilization, of course.”

Supply bottlenecks are unlikely as well, de Haan adds. Stating: “This would require in particular the Chinese and Japanese markets to develop stronger than we currently expect it. A Chinese market of 15 GW and a Japanese market of more than 10 GW are not totally impossible, but very unlikely.”

De Haan also notes that he expects that a new cycle of capital expenditures will begin this year: “In particular the leading players are in expansion mode again. This is important and necessary, as end markets will keep growing. Thanks to these capacity additions, our current projections don’t indicate a supply shortage next year either.”

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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