Sharp slowdown in PV module shipments predicted for 2011

The company predicts that the first quarter of 2011 will be very different to the first quarter of this year, when speculation of additional cuts to incentive schemes drove “unusually high demand” in Europe and prompted extensive production capacity expansions across the globe.

Research Analyst, Sam Wilkinson commented: “We predict the return of classic seasonal installation patterns and forecast that completed installations will decrease by nearly 40 percent in Q1’11 versus Q4’10. This fall in demand for installations after December 31, 2010, combined with huge capacity expansions certainly poses some problems for the market.

“We predict a sharp slowdown in module shipments from Q4’10 and PV module prices are forecast to decline once again during the first half of 2011.” IMS Research predicts that PV module prices will decline by eight percent in the first quarter of next year.

According to the company, after declining by an average of 10 percent each quarter last year, high demand resulted in relatively small price decreases from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. Factory-gate prices of crystalline modules fell just two percent in euros, it says, between the two quarters, despite the German FIT reducing by 9 to 11 percent as planned at the end of the year.

In the second quarter of this year, average crystalline module prices are estimated to have increased by one percent in euros over the previous quarter. By the end of the year, prices are forecast to fall just one percent from their levels in the final quarter of last year.