German PV manufacturers look to Asian markets

Tuesday’s IMS photovoltaic market research projections forecasted falling demand in Europe in 2011 and 2012. Figures that are confirmed by an analysis completed by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) released earlier in May. In fact, Asia is proving to be the major focus of polysilicon, cell and module manufacturing, and also for thin film production.

VDMA’s Florian Wessendorf told pv magazine that the figures for the Asian focus for German manufacturers are overwhelming. "They will concentrate on the Asian market, their export numbers (are) in the range of 80 to 90 percent driven by the Asian market and that is for sure (to continue) looking to the future."

The research also showed that the European market, while becoming less prominent in the global mix, is still growing. "What we see is that there is less growth (in Europe) but there is still growth," said Wessendorf.

The research conducted by VDMA, which partnered with the SEMI PV Group to provide figures on the global photovoltaic industry for the first time, also indicated growth right across manufacturing in 2010. Wessendorf told pv magazine that "the greatest growth may be in cell production and equipment for cell production, but what we see is growth right across these equipment areas."

Looking at the market in detail, the VDMA report also showed that in Germany the equipment manufactures are an important component of the photovoltaic industry. "In Germany, most people are talking to cell manufacturers or module manufacturers," Wessendorf continued, "but if you take a close look at the data you see that there is a huge industry in the equipment part and this is important for these (policy) questions."

The VDMA and SEMI PV Group will provide quarterly reports on the manufacturing and supply industry, with their first quarter results expected in the coming weeks.