Taiwanese solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers experienced record shipment growth in 2014, due to both increases in shipments and conversion efficiency, reaching over 10 GW for the year.
These figures come courtesy of market research firm, EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce.
According to EnergyTrend, Taiwanese PV cell makers grew despite the anti-dumping and countervailing investigations conducted by the US International Trade Commission (USITC). Taiwanese manufacturers saw growth of 20% compared to the previous year, officially breaking the 10 GW barrier and setting a new record for the country.
The leading solar PV manufacturer in Taiwan continues to be NSP, which clearly sat ahead of its nearest rivals, with 22% of the total annual shipments. Motech and Gintech followed behind with 16% and 15% respectively — together all three made up over half the total shipments for Taiwan.
However, as EnergyTrend suggests, “anticipate changes in 2015 when Motech’s merger with Topcell will be finalized by the end of June,” which for those not wanting to do the math, based on 2014’s numbers, would have placed Motech/TopCell ahead of NSP (23% to 22% respectively). It is expected that, post-merger, Motech’s capacity is estimated to reach 3 GW.
However, EnergyTrend analyst Angus Kao points out two “significant challenges” that Taiwan’s solar PV manufacturing industry is likely to face in 2015.
The first is the expected anti-dumping and countervailing duties against Chinese imports and the anti-dumping duties against Taiwanese imports likely to be set into place in the United States. This will force Chinese PV module manufacturers to rely on Chinese-made cells instead of Taiwanese-made cells.
The second challenge Kao expects Taiwan to face this year is the likely demands from European and Japanese clients to have prices lowered in response to the steep depreciation of the euro and yen.
EnergyTrend expect Taiwan to suffer a serious shortage of international orders throughout the middle half of the year, due to low demand in the early part, reduced exports to the US and moving their production lines overseas — however, by the end of the year, there is a probability Taiwan will be able to re-establish itself.
“Global solar installations are gradually moving away from the large, ground-mounted PV systems for power plants to commercial applications and solar roof panels for homes,” Kao added, “and for that reason Taiwanese PV companies need to improve PV cells’ conversion efficiency.”
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