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.
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 ...
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 ...