Market Analysis

Our Managing Director Martin Schachinger writes a personal market comment every month, which is published in trade journals like pv magazine in market reports from analysts like Mercom Capital, as well as in online platforms such as RECHARGE or the Solarserver. Here you can find the complete collection of all articles.
We can look back on unusually quiet last weeks at the end of the 2019, without the hustle and bustle in the photovoltaic market and the panic at the end of the day that has frequently been observed. As a result, there are no significant price cuts in sight for 2020. We look back over the second half of 2019, and what’s to come in 2020. more ...
To hear our policy makers talk, the energy transition is in full swing; an unprecedented radical and rapid transformation of our energy and economic systems. So much is being reformed, so much is being accomplished - we can't possibly to do more! But reality paints a completely different picture. Even for the big energy companies, which once leaned on the brakes in the face of change, the pace of the current federal government has become sluggish. The utilities have started to set the pace for change to prepare quickly for a future where energy will be generated exclusively from renewable sources and consumed free of emissions. Climate targets or no climate targets; for the utilities, it is a matter of developing a survival strategy in a disruptive market. more ...
We're lacking something critical, not only in Germany, but I'll get to that. First, let me point out what we' re not lacking: solar panels. Contrary to the mid-year projections of a number of analysts, there is no solar boom in China and no extreme game of catch-up in installation figures. Rather than the anticipated new installations on the order of 25 to 30 gigawatts projected for the second half of the year, expectations have now been dialed back to less than 20 gigawatts of new capacity. more ...
Bifacial modules are taking over the market - at least that is the impression you get if you believe the producers of cells with both an active front and an active back for power generation. At Intersolar Europe 2019, this year's trade fair for photovoltaics in Munich, exhibits of this kind could be found at the booth of nearly every major module manufacturer. more ...
Module prices have scarcely changed over the past month across all technologies. Despite tightening supplies - especially for modules in the lower output range - all other prices, with the exception of those for all-black modules, fell slightly. The summer lull could exacerbate this downward trend even further but the unfavorable euro exchange rate is also working to counteract it. more ...
The indications and rumors are mounting that a year-end rally is ahead, complete with module shortage. But should we really take the warnings to heart, given that over the past eight to ten months the supply lines have been flowing just fine? A look at the prices shows that everything is still quiet. The price points of all the module technologies have been fluctuating around a support level for months without permanently breaking through it. more ...
... but at the moment all we are seeing in Europe is higher temperatures. The current weather in Central Europe, with its humid, stormy heat in the north-east and damp, cold air in the south and south-west, is not exactly the ideal recipe for brisk activity in the PV industry. To the contrary, following a hectic first quarter, a kind of inertia seems to have taken hold of the market. Project planners and installers are reorienting themselves, assessing what the market will bear and feeling out prices. Projects are being developed at a leisurely pace and handled one step at a time. more ...
Since the last reduction in the feed-in tariff for medium-sized PV systems at the beginning of April, not much has changed in terms of module prices. This is down to unchanged demand in Germany - at least in the first days of April. What is more, any local lags in the market are outweighed by steadily rising demand throughout Europe. It seems that the daily reports across all media about climate change and school strikes, which in sheer volume are in a head-to-head run-off with reports about the Brexit mess, have led some people to rethink after all. more ...
Numerous indicators point to an impending sharp decline in PV installations, at least in Germany, after 31 March. Availability is poor, prices for both multi and monocrystalline modules have largely stagnated since the beginning of the year, and manufacturers have postponed or completely cancelled promised deliveries from Asia. As a result of the current monthly reductions in feed-in tariffs, we are now seeing a full-fledged run on the few lots of modules still available on short notice. With each passing month, anxiety mounts over whether the urgently needed components will be delivered on time. When deadlines are broken, installers face harsh contractual penalties, while system operators rack up major losses. Yet module producers seem to be taking all this in stride. more ...
After a uniquely pleasant but dry summer and fall, it has been raining and snowing in central Europe for weeks with no sign of letting up. Judging on sheer volume, the god of precipitation apparently wants to make up for his neglect of last year. The weather has conjured memories of the catastrophic winter of 2006 when the roofs of numerous industrial and commercial buildings succumbed to the weight of their snowy burdens, claiming a number of lives. This winter building owners in the Alpine regions are once again anxiously eyeing their creaking roofs. Special emergency personnel are working around-the-clock to clear the most serios hazards. PV plant owners, too, are struggling to maintain the stability of their structures, not least because entering their facilities to clear the slippery surfaces is nearly impossible under these weather conditions. more ...
If you want to talk to manufacturers about module prices for 2019 – to submit a binding tender offer, perhaps – prepare to be disappointed. No one knows where the market is headed yet, which is why no one really wants to commit themselves - in other words, planning security is still tending towards nil. Apparently, the German government's backing off from the short-term cuts to feed-in tariffs in the mid-sized plant segment is still not sufficient inducement for suppliers to ratchet up their capacities or delivery volumes in short order. more ...
“I’m not installing anymore this year – I’m not going to put myself through that kind of stress.” You increasingly hear this or something similar when you talk to German planners or installers these days. And you can also hear some variant of, “If I order more modules now, can you guarantee me that I’ll actually get them on time?” In short, there is a simmering discontent in the market that occasionally boils over into all-out anger but also expresses itself as simple resignation. So, what is it that has quashed the generally positive mood in Germany so quickly? more ...