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.
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 ...
Judging merely by the prices over the past few weeks, the answer would seem to be an unequivocal no. But if you believe the voices of some manufacturers, then the end of the across-the-board slump in module prices is within reach. Once again, a shortage seems to be emerging, at least among some tier-1 manufacturers. Both inexpensive polycrystalline and high-performance monocrystalline modules with PERC cells are no longer available on short notice in whatever quantity is desired. Apparently the products of the top manufacturers have sold so well in recent weeks due to the low prices that short-term supplies are no longer guaranteed. more ...
It’s official now: since September 3rd, the minimum import price has actually been relegated to history! After the majority of EU representatives consulted during preliminary talks spoke out against further market restrictions, the Commission is refraining from a further review of possible acts of price dumping by Chinese manufacturers. In the context of the general discussion about protectionist measures in the USA and the corresponding retaliatory measures by Europe and China, a continuation of the market restrictions for Asian solar products would have sent a very bad signal. more ...
With subdued demand over the past four to six weeks, prices have remained largely stable. Only certain products are being offered at a discount over the previous month, which has led to minor price changes for high-efficiency modules and standard polycrystalline modules (mainstream). However, the price changes are actually smaller than the rounded index values make it appear and are in the sub-0.5 euro cents per watt-peak range. Particularly with the major brands such as Hanwha Q-Cells, Jinko Solar and Canadian Solar, there is not much activity at the moment. more ...
… so ended a recent e-mail from a good friend in the PV industry, someone with over 30 years of experience in photovoltaics, one of the pioneers of the industry. It was regarding an exchange about current market developments and the sharp price declines over the past few weeks and months. His superiors and colleagues at one of the big German energy companies just cannot believe what is happening in the market right now - and the madhouse comparison is not a bad analogy! more ...
"I'm sorry, but I have to admit: there are things in the world that are, unfortunately, awesome." sings the German hip-hop group Deichkind aptly and self-critically. The same can be said, in my view at least, about the current downward spiral of module and cell prices. Of course, it is clear to all of us that some companies - especially module producers - will again fall by the wayside. more ...
The alliance between policy makers and the big energy and car manufacturers claims to back climate protection, but does it have any shred of credibility left? Can we really place the fate of the environment and humankind into the hands of those who have proven over the years through stonewalling, trivializing, or foolhardy complacency that they neither have any interest in, nor are capable of changing the status quo? more ...
.. But is he gone for good? We are talking about Frank Asbeck and his company SolarWorld. It was only last August that I reported on the comeback of Mr. Asbeck as an investor and the new/old CEO of the PV module production and sales company that had risen from the ashes of insolvency. Now, the company has been shuttered once again - a new bankruptcy petition has been filed. more ...
Buying low, selling high, pocketing the difference - on the face of it, it does not sound complicated and can also be quite lucrative if you do not have a large overhead. In the PV sector, too, there are still numerous very small companies that operate like this without giving it much thought. Many small wholesalers are not even aware of the risks they are taking. more ...
The current market situation, at least for Central Europe, can be summarized as follows: same old story. The price level has neither changed over the past month nor has the general availability of the different module types improved - on the contrary. Whereas last month it was still possible to order relatively reliable polycrystalline modules for short-term delivery from many suppliers, as early as at the beginning of March, even for medium power classes, buyers were put off until April, May or even June. more ...