German PV equipment manufacturers see improved business

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Orders for German manufacturers of PV components, machinery and equipment continue to look positive at the end of the third quarter.

According to a current business climate survey conducted by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), 52% of the companies reported an improvement in their order situation compared to the same period last year. Approximately 46% report a similar level of incoming orders. Nevertheless, the economic drive for PV machinery has slowed significantly compared to spring. Participating companies reported a revenue increase of 17% for the current year. In spring, expectations had amounted to 27%.

"We had a great start into 2014,” said Peter Fath, managing director of RCT Solutions GmbH and chairman of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment, a division of the VDMA. "Turnover and incoming orders rose by 30% compared to last year. The tightening of anti-dumping levies on Chinese and Taiwanese solar products, however, has considerably slowed down the economic recovery of the industry."

However, positive signals are visible in the PV installation market. Leading market researchers forecast PV installations of up to 50 GW this year and are expecting the announcement of investment in new fabs and production lines soon.

"VDMA assumes that the gap between supply and demand will be closed by the end of 2014. This means increasing investment in modern equipment and technology at the beginning of 2015. From our point of view, the German PV machinery industry is optimally prepared for the emerging investment cycle," adds Florian Wessendorf, managing director of VDMA Photovoltaik Equipment.

Indeed, industry reps expect a revenue increase of more than 16% for the coming year.

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