In its Monthly PV Module Price Tracker report, IMS Research observed module prices increasing seven percent in the quarter, on the back of increase in demand from a number of key markets including Germany. For the quarter the analysts predict three gigawat of photovoltaic installations were connected to the grid in Germany alone.
In confirmation of word-of-mouth reports, the IMS survey found that installers were "desperate" to complete projects before feed-in tariff (FIT) reductions took place. On the back of this, distributors and module manufacturers were able to increase prices. However IMS Research reports that the price gains may be short lived, with prices expected to drop four percent in January.
Distributors were able to capitalize on the market condition most successfully late last year, increasing module prices by ten percent on average, while manufacturers were only able to increase theirs by one percent. It was however, the first time this had occurred in 2011.
"The increases in prices of PV modules throughout the supply chain in December perhaps shows that the pricing free-fall of 2011 had ended, which Im sure provided a welcome relief to suppliers," said IMS Researchs Sam Wilkinson, in a statement reporting the findings.
However, with falling module prices expected to return in January, the relief may be short lived.
pvXchanges module price index, based on the figures from its online photovoltaic trading platform, is featured in the February edition of pv magazine.