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  • Sun & Wind Energy 6/201538

    Photovoltaics cell & module manufacturers

    T here is no sign that the global photovoltaics market will be losing momentum any time soon, says James Kurz, a solar expert from the market research firm Apricum. That also goes for the next few years, he said. He also pointed out the a massive shift in demand from Europe to Asia over the past three years particularly to China and Japan as well as to North America and especially the USA. For this year we expect a global newly installed capacity of 54 GW and a total installed capacity of 232 GW. By 2020, the demand will grow to 92 GW per year with a cumulative capacity of 604 GW. Kurz expects that the highest annual photovoltaic capaci-ties in 2020 will be installed in the following five countries: China (180 GW), the USA (83 GW), Japan (57 GW), Germany (46 GW) and India (41 GW).

    From cells to modules: detailed insight in the manufacturing process Photos: hanwha Q cells

    as expected, the global focal point of the solar industry has shifted to the asia-Pacific region and the usa. india, too, is proving to be an attractive market. in addition, new regions on the Pv map have begun to attract attention, such as latin america. and in europe, too, the photovoltaics market is by no means history.

    The global marketcontinues apace

  • Solar Edition 39

    The global marketcontinues apace




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  • Sun & Wind Energy 6/201540

    Photovoltaics cell & module manufacturers

    View into the module factory of Aleo Solar in Prenzlau, Germany. Aleo Solar is a subsidiary of the Taiwanese company Sunrise Global Energy. Photo: aleo solar

    SolarWorld took over the Bosch Solar factory in Arnstadt, Germany. Here a solar module is being prepared for a performance test. Photo: sebastian Kahnert/dpa

    India has big targets

    Some experts may not have included India in the final cut at first. And that, despite magnificent development in the Indian market that started to develop a few years ago. This has been due in no small part to the large-scale program of support for solar power called the National Solar Mission under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The mission aims at a specific goal: India should become one of the key glo-bal markets for photovoltaics. The country wants to reduce pollution, create more access to electricity and establish its own PV production capability. By 2023, India wants to install 100 GW, said Kurz.

    The big players are taking advantage of that. Following the completion of a 9.3 MW photovoltaic power plant in the state of Gujarat, Suntech Power and Adani Enterprises Ltd., one of the largest electricity providers in the country, are now working on building additional solar power plants in India. Suntech will supply modules with some 200 MW of capacity for a power plant project that will also be developed, built and operated by Adani Power. Following the recently completed 9.3 MW project in Gujarat, India, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Adani Power, which has proven to be an important and strong partner in the development of the solar industry, both in the

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    region and in India as a whole, says Haibo Xiong, President of Suntech.

    First Solar is also pursuing ambitious goals in India. The company wants to install photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 5 GW by 2019. First Solar already oper-ates utility-scale plants in India with a capacity totalling more than 700 MW. Just recently it added the Marikal Solar Project with a capacity of 20 MW in the state of Telangana. Where installations are springing up, manu-facturing should flourish as well. That is an idea not lost on JA Solar. The Chinese PV company recently signed an MoU with its Indian business partner, Essel Infraprojects Ltd, to establish a production facility for photovoltaic products in India. The joint venture for the manufacture of solar cells and PV modules will have a production ca-pacity of 500 MW. As its first production facility abroad, JA Solar has already commissioned a cell production fa-cility in Penang, Malaysia with a capacity of 400 MW. According to the company, the cells are will be used mainly to produce JA Solar modules outside of China.

    The Indian PV company Vikram Solar also has great expectations for the domestic market. It wants to ex-pand its module production capacity to 600 MW by the end of 2015. The company is also reviewing various options, including partnering agreements with leading solar cell manufacturers to build a solar cell plant capa-ble of producing 250 MW a year by the first quarter of 2016. This is not surprising in view of the activity in the market. Just recently, a call for project tenders with a total scope of 500 MW in Andhra Pradesh was oversub-scribed by a factor of ten. According to information from Bridge to India, more than 30 providers submitted bids with a total capacity of 5.5 GW for this tender.

    Latin America out of the starting gateOther regions with high growth potential are Central and South America, especially Brazil. The country is in-creasing it proportion of photovoltaics through an auc-tion system and is expected to become the largest mar-ket in South America, said Kurz. Competition is already stiff at the auctions, and some module manufacturers are planning to establish branch offices in Brazil. The winner of the first round of tenders for the year is Enel Green Power. The Italian company was awarded the con-tract in the Brazilian Leilo de Reserva energy auction for photovoltaic projects with a total capacity of 553 MW. It will receive 20-year power purchase agreements for Horizonte MP (103 MW), Lapa (158 MW) and Nova Olinda (292 MW). July saw the Brazilian government deadline (RSI) of the second energy auction for the year 2015. A total of 1,379 projects were registered with a total capac-ity of 38,917 MW. Among them were 649 photovoltaic projects with a combined capacity of 20,953 MW. Never before have were as many projects registered as they were for this auction. That is an indication of the growing investor interest in renewable energy, said Mauricio Tolmasquim, President of energy research consultancy Empresa de Pesquisa Energtica.

    At the same time, production capacity is expanding in Latin America. For instance, the German photovoltaic

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    Photovoltaics cell & module manufacturers

  • Solar Edition 43

  • Sun & Wind Energy 6/201544

    Photovoltaics cell & module manufacturers

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    As in previous years, SUN & WIND ENERGY has que-ried crystalline cell, module and thin-fi lm producers worldwide regarding their production capacities and utilisation. Published materials about companies and interviews with company representatives served as additional sources for the world map. We supple-mented this data with studies of solar associations and market researchers, such as IHS iSuppli, GTM Research, and Bloomberg. The cell, module and thin-fi lm manufacturing facilities shown on the world map span 55 countries worldwide the focus in China and other Asian countries is clearly visible. Production facilities in South America have been added this year. In addition to the classic module manufacturers, producers of off -grid solutions and small modules were also included. Capacities from production sites that have merely been temporarily taken offl ine are still included on the map.

    In 2014, approximately 49 GW of crystalline modules were produced, with China accounting for the largest share. In the European Union (EU), by the end of 2014, there were still around 8 GW of crystalline module capacity running at around 45 % utilisation. For crystalline cells, the capacity of some 2.1 GW in the EU was utilised at a rate of just under 50 %.

    Photovoltaics industry worldwide 2015Despite many company closures, China is once

    again the world leader in cell and module produc-tion capacity in 2015. More than 100 Chinese cell manufacturers and nearly 300 module manufactur-ers are still active in the market, but many of them did not provide production capacity and are there-fore not included on the map. Overall, more than 130 manufacturers worldwide can be referred to as integrated since they have their own cell and mod-ule production facilities. The trend of outsourcing module production has continued, however. While Chinese companies continue to shift parts of their production to fabrication facilities outside of China as a result of anti-dumping measures in the USA and the EU, Japanese companies are drawing down their domestic production capacity, preferring instead to manufacture in China.

    Among the major producers listed annually by IHS, not much changed from 2013 to 2014. The top 6 are still from China. Trina Solar remains in the top spot it took from Yingli in 2013. Hanwha Q Cells and JA Solar made the biggest leaps forward. Due to in-creasing OEM production, the manufacturers have been ranked according to shipment fi gures since 2014, in contrast to previous years when production volume was the decisive factor. Michael Forst

    equipment manufacturer Schmid Group was pleased to land an order from ERDM Solar, one of the oldest module manufacturers in Mexico. Also, Schmid Group announced that it had signed a contract with ERDM Solar to build its new cell and module produc-tion line in San Andrs Tuxtla. The general aim was to increase the existing solar cell and module pro-duction capacity from 60 MW to 170 MW a year. And another German fi rm, J.v.G. Thoma, has also reported

    a deal. It is slated to provide the Brazilian company Renovasol with a turnkey module fabrication line with a production capacity of 70 MW.

    In South America projects are also in the pipe-line, of course. For instance, Acciona Energa of Spain wants to build the largest photovoltaic power plant in Latin America. The project, with a rated ca-pacity of 246.6 MW, will be built in the Atacama Desert. The start of construction of El Romero Solar

  • Sun & Wind Energy 6/201546

    Photovoltaics cell & module manufacturers

    At the end of the module production chain, the logistic process begins. Photo: hanwha Q cells

    is a very important milestone, said CEO Rafael Mateo. It will allow us to strengthen our role in the Chilean energy sector.

    The USA is still in the fast lane

    By 2020, the United States is expected to reach sec-ond place worldwide in terms of installed photo-voltaic capacity. The domestic solar industry antic-ipates an installation boom in 2015 and 2016, fol-lowed by a steep decline in power plant expansion in 2017, when ITC funding is reduced from 30 % to 10 %, says James Kurz. But even in this business-as-usual scenario, the market could still hold steady even after 2016, he emphasises, because the rooftop sector is flourishing and system costs are coming down. Also, President Obamas Clean Power Plan and Hillary Clintons expansion target of 140 GW by 2020 have bolstered optimism.

    2014 was an outstanding year for solar produc-ers in the USA, says Mike Munsell, solar expert at market research firm GTM Research. Module manu-facturers in the United States have run up against their production capacity limits. The reason is healthy and strong demand in the domestic mar-ket, said Munsell. And the producers expect this demand to increase. Accordingly, the countrys lead-ing companies have responded by expanding their production capacity. GTM Research points primarily to SolarWorld, Suniva and First Solar. Installations are also proceeding apace in places like Florida. A good example is the megaproject underway at power company Florida Power & Light. The project com-prises three new large-scale photovoltaic installa-tions under the Florida Public Service Commissions Ten-Year Site Plan. The power plants are slated for completion by the end of 2016. Each of the three generation facilities is planned to have a capacity of around 74 MW. These, together with some smaller solar projects, will boost Florida Power & Lights newly installed capacity to more than 225 MW by the

    end of 2016, thus doubling its current installed capacity of around 110 MW.

    Core markets stable

    China is likely to remain the engine of both region-al and global growth over the next five years, said Kurz. The country wants to become less dependent on coal-based power generation, get control of its massive environmental problems, and boost de-mand for products from the domestic photovoltaics industry. This will be of particular benefit to domes-tic companies such as Yingli.The Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer is expected to supply more than 650,000 solar panels to a single solar farm by the end of the year. Yingli was commissioned by project developer CFC Group Construction Ltd. to supply modules totalling 170 MW. The panels are earmarked for a photovol-taic power plant in the Chinese province of Hebei. The company says that it is Yinglis largest-ever supply contract in China.

    In Japan, the second largest PV market in the world in 2013 and 2014, not quite as much photo-voltaic capacity will be installed as in the times of the generous feed-in tariffs, but according to the as-sessment of Kurz, the multi-megawatt market will continue until 2020. For instance, the K&S engineer-ing partnership Krug & Schram, a technical consult-ing company for renewable energy, reported the successful completion of a technical consulting engagement for Saferay Pte. ltd. (Singapore) for the implementation of a photovoltaic project in Japan. The 20 MW Kawasaki Solar Farm was built in Tagawa-gun in the Fukuoka prefecture. It comprises 13 central inverter stations and was developed and commissioned by a Japanese consortium. Also, Etrion Corporation, an independent solar power pro-ducer, announced in August that the final section of the photovoltaic power plant in Mito, Japan was connected to the grid.

  • Solar Edition 47

    Residential system in Japan with modules from Hanwha Q Cells. Analysts believe that the country will continue to be among the most important PV markets. Photo: hanwha Q cells

    Sustainable growth in Europe

    In Europe, photovoltaics are still on the agenda. Al-though Europes share of global photovoltaics ex-pansion will continue to shrink, some growth mar-kets remain intact. The total European market will nevertheless continue to grow in absolute terms from 2014 to 2020, says Kurz. France will battle it out with Germany over the next five years for the top rank on the continent, he said, adding that the French government preferred building new renewa-ble energy plants to constructing new nuclear power facilities. He expected to see a large number of pho-tovoltaic systems installed in the UK during the cur-rent year, after which the market would flatten out again and would be sustained mainly by private and commercial projects. The current government has not put its weight behind large renewable energy projects.

    Nevertheless, Europe remains attractive. For in-stance, Hanwha Q Cells has established a new sub-sidiary, Hanwha Q Cells SAS, in the French city of Aix-en-Provence. Moreover, the company opened a new warehouse in Lyon with an area of 5,000 square me-ters. It was the companys response to the growing demand of French consumers and businesses in trade and industry. With our strengthened footprint and growing network of installers, we are now in an excellent position to meet the needs of French cus-tomers across the country, says Philippe Pflieger, Head of Sales of Hanwha Q Cells SAS France. In Ger-many, Winaico Module supplied the panels for the largest PERC rooftop system in Germany and in Ice-land the solar silicon manufacturer Silicor Materials plans to build a solar silicon factory.

    Meanwhile, stored solar power for self-consump-tion is also well on its way to market maturity. As a result of high electricity prices, photovoltaic storage systems will soon reach grid parity in some Europe-an markets, including Germany and Italy. That could trigger a wave of new private installations, said Kurz. Apparently, Aleo Solar is optimistic; it has in-vested in PV manufacturing. Aleo Solar GmbH will build its own cell production facility in Germany. In its first year of production in 2016 we plan to manu-facture approximately 200 MW of polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar cells in Prenzlau. Construction and operation of the cell production facility will be handled by Aleo Sunrise GmbH, which was founded as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Aleo Solar GmbH. We expect nearly 100 new jobs, says Andrea Krug, the spokeswoman for Aleo Solar GmbH.

    Development in Europe will be accompanied by an emerging Turkish market. ET Solar has just entered the project market there and Solar Frontier, together with the Smart Energy Group has completed the first CIS-photovoltaic power plant in Turkey. The Turkish government also sent positive signals when it created new regulations for private solar power systems. The new rules make it easier to install PV systems and could breathe new life into the market.

    New markets

    According Kurz, the new markets in Africa and the Middle East are among the fastest growing photo-voltaic markets in the world. In Africa, the shortage of energy is the main driver of this growth; the idea is to give more people access to electricity. With its tendering program, South Africa made the first ma-jor steps, which have continued to drive demand for PV. In the MENA region, there is a clear trend indi-cating that energy-importing countries like Morocco, Egypt and Israel will be the first to consider ramping up renewable electricity production. These countries are working on incentives programs for small and large PV systems. Tenders in the region have at-tained extremely low solar electricity prices. World-wide, photovoltaics is going mainstream, according to experts at EUPVSEC in Hamburg. Thus, it does not currently look as if the global photovoltaics market is set to lose steam any time soon.

    Markus Grunwald

    Further information:Acciona Energa: www.acciona-energia.comAdani Enterprises Ltd: www.adani.comAleo Solar: www.aleo-solar.deBridge to India: www.bridgetoindia.comEnel Green Power: www.enelgreenpower.comERDM Solar: stores.erdm-solar.comEssel Infraprojects Limited: www.esselinfraprojects.comET Solar: www.etsolar.comFirst Solar: www.firstsolar.comJA Solar: www.jasolar.comJ.v.G. Thoma GmbH: www.jvg-thoma.deHanwha Q Cells: K&S Ingenieurpartnerschaft Krug & Schram: www.krugundschram.deSchmid Group: www.schmid-group.comSolar Frontier: www.solarworld.deSuniva: www.suniva.comVikram Solar: www.vikramsolar.comWinaico: www.winaico.comWuxi Suntech Power Co: www.suntech-power.comYingi Solar: