Bernreuter Research sees rebound for leaner polysilicon


The polysilicon industry has seen a shakeout involving nearly 40 companies so far. Post-shakeout, Bernreuter Research states, the industry is on a recovery path. 2015 is already predicted to possibly see new polysilicon shortage.

The company further sees monosilane-based technologies as serious competition for the widely used Siemens process. Monosilane-based processes are used by companies like REC Silicon and Schmid Silicon. Energy consumption is lower and high purity is attained (with limitations in Fluidized Bed Reactor), as the presentation at the EU PVSEC shows.

Many other novel approaches will probably not make it into commercial production. Another potentially viable option that needs to prove itself is upgraded metallurgical-grade (UMG) silicon.

The future demand scenario developed by Bernreuter Research is more aggressive than other analyses. "Several indicators we investigated point to new PV system installations of up to 37.5 gigawatts in 2012," says Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research and author of the new report.

The market researcher examined 72 analyst forecasts made about global PV installations from 2008 through 2011. He found that the forecast average remained more than 30% below the actual results.

The report ‘The 2012 Who’s Who of Solar Silicon Production’ contains 91 concise company updates and production data on 82 manufacturers. Companies from North America, Brazil, Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Australia, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States, India and the Arabian Peninsula were included.