German PV equipment manufacturers see orders triple

Despite a sluggish start to the year, Q2 has seen an uptick in the fortunes of Germany’s solar PV equipment manufacturers, with turnovers increasing 52% on Q1. Overall, Germany is said to have cornered over half the market for equipment in H1 2015.

Compared to Q2 2014, orders have almost tripled, says VDMA, thus bringing them in line with those seen in Q2 2011. While no specific figures were provided, VDMA says Asia accounted for 41% of all new orders, followed by the U.S. with 26%, Europe with 17% and Germany with 16%.

"The order situation of the German Photovoltaic machinery industry gives us every reason to be optimistic. Leading manufacturers invest in technology and production solutions again. Consequently, we expect a continuation of the economic recovery over the next few months," commented Florian Wessendorf, MD of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment.

Overall, East Asia is said to represent the most important market for Germany’s equipment manufacturers, with turnover there totaling 46%. The U.S., meanwhile, accounted for 31%, and Germany and Europe, 13% and 11%, respectively.

At 60%, solar cell production equipment continued to represent the strongest segment, followed by equipment for polysilicon and wafer production, at 19%. Thin film equipment and equipment for crystalline backend module production accounted for 13% and 8%, respectively.

Although the U.S. trade tariffs on solar equipment from China and Taiwan are continuing to impact can still be felt by Germany’s equipment manufacturers, Peter Fath, MD of RCT Solutions GmbH and Chairman of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment, says, "our customers have accepted the situation," with many having either relocated or added new production facilities elsewhere.

While Germany’s equipment manufacturers are enjoying a strong market share, VDMA says competition is intensifying, particularly among Asian counterparts.

pv magazine has contacted the VDMA for more details.