German PV equipment makers report revenue rise for 2016

German PV equipment manufacturers saw their aggregate revenue increase by 20% in 2016, according to data released by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). This growth was mainly due to the investments made in new capacity by the world’s solar industry last year. Order intake for 2016 also increased 36% year-on-year, VDMA reports.

FIT digression in China, however, has slowed down investments in new capacity from Chinese manufacturers. VDMA also said that German manufacturers expect demand to slow.

Peter Fath, president of VDMA-Plattform Photovoltaik-Produktionsmittel said the investment activities of solar cell makers are diminishing, and that new orders relate to upgrades for high-efficiency or bifacial technologies, while major deals are expected in the black silicon business.

Although order intake improved considerably from 2015 to 2016, in the fourth quarter of last year, it decreased 34% from the previous 3-month period and 18% from the same quarter in 2015. Around 65% of Q4 orders came from Asia, while the United States and Europe accounted for 19% and 8%, respectively.

The export share of German equipment providers was 91%. East Asia accounted for 69% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, while the United States and Europe contributed with 15% and 9%, respectively.

The segment with the highest market share in 2016 was the solar cell equipment production segment (51%), followed by the thin-film segment (19%), wafer segment (16%) and module production segment (14%).

By Petra Hannen