The Asian solar industry has continued to invest heavily in the expansion of its photovoltaic production capacities this year. The manufacturers of PV production equipment in Germany profited from this and recorded a 51% increase in sales in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. The order books of the German suppliers were well filled, as their book-to-bill ratio was 1.3 in the second quarter.
“The high investment activity of the solar cell manufacturers in the expansion of existing and new production capacities is continuing, as production is fully utilized. However, low prices have had a negative effect on sales. New orders have increased for PERC and black silicon equipment for both the crystalline silicon and the thin film segments, “said Peter Fath, CEO of RCT Solutions GmbH and Chairman of the VDMA. Photovoltaic manufacturers from all over the world are betting on technology and machines from Germany. The export rate of the German photovoltaic suppliers reached a record value of 97 percent in the second quarter.
The largest markest continue to be in East Asia. The share of total revenues from this segment amounted to 72 percent in the second quarter of 2017, as the VDMA reported. Around 53 percent of this turnover came from China. The remaining revenue came 12% percent from America and 11% from Europe.
The most revenue-generating segment in the second quarter of 2017 was again the production equipment for solar cell production with a 59% share, followed by the thin film segment with a 24% share. “The high proportion, especially for equipment for the production of thin-film modules, shows that demand of German production equipment is rising,” said Jutta Trube, CEO of VDMA Photovoltaik Produktionsmittel. Polysilicon, ingot and wafer production equipment accounted for 10% of sales in the second quarter.
Between April and June, however, orders declined. “The extremely high order intake in the first quarter leaves thick order books that will be processed in the coming months,” added Trube.