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Published on January 23rd, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill


Chinese Tier-1 PV Module Suppliers Have Sold Out

January 23rd, 2015 by  

A majority of Chinese tier-1 solar PV module suppliers have sold out until the second quarter in 2015, according to analysis from IHS.

One of the world’s leading information and analytics providers, IHS has heard “from both suppliers and buyers that there will be a shortage of Chinese tier-1 modules in the first quarter,” says Jessica Jin, an IHS solar analyst.

“After a demand surge in the fourth quarter of 2014, Chinese tier-1 module suppliers decreased their inventory significantly. Considering the Chinese New Year occurs in the first quarter, companies won’t run their capacity in full production, either; so they won’t have enough products for all quotations. Most of them have already sold out for the first quarter.”


Despite a whole quarter’s shortage, IHS forecasts that Chinese tier-1 suppliers will maintain their combined market share throughout the first quarter, which reached 45% in the fourth quarter of 2014.

IHS predicts that the total effective capacity of Chinese tier-1 module suppliers in the first quarter of 2015 is expected to reach 5.7 GW, in a global market expecting demand of 10.8 GW. Specifically, China is expected to benefit from a surge in demand in Japan, the UK, and South and Central America markets. On top of this, some previously postponed Chinese projects will reach completion in the first quarter of 2015, making China another dominant market.

These few markets will make up for what is generally a slow quarter. Japan is a typical first-quarter exception, however, as January to March represents the end of their financial year — IHS predicts that Japan will see a 12% quarterly increase. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Renewable Obligations Certificates scheme for ground-mount systems larger than 5 MW will end at the end of Q1’15, which will see an accompanying surge to get in under the wire — IHS is predicting 1.6 GW will be installed in the UK by the time the first quarter comes to a close.

IHS is also predicting a quarterly surge of 80% in Central and South America, including Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.

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  • spec9

    Build more factories.

  • RobMF

    Demand for solar is surging while demand for oil is anemic. That’s a trend I could get used to.

  • JamesWimberley

    Chinese New Year lasts 15 days at most, or 2 weeks out of 13. It’s a surprising claim that manufacturers won’t be able to make up for this, since they are expanding capacity at the same time. If true, it’s a heartening dent in the image of Chinese workaholicism.

  • Kyle Field

    This could be a double whammy to panel prices…with limited production / supply and constantly increasing demand, we should expect to see panel prices increase unless production capacity increases.

    The other piece is the tariffs…

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