PV equipment sales are up with high share of exports, says VDMA


The German Engineering Federation or VDMA (Verbandes Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau), reported second quarter figures related to its PV equipment manufacturing members' performance. It said exports in the second quarter amounted to 92.5%, with China and India providing 88% of the total export demand.

Exports beyond Europe were also strong in the first quarter compared to domestic demand. In July the VDMA reported that 89% of PV equipment sales were for foreign markets, with Asia noted as the largest market.

Looking ahead, the VDMA expects that industrial policy will be instrumental to driving investment in large projects, targeting multiple gigawatts of capacity.

“In the second quarter of this year, solar PV equipment manufacturers recorded a significant increase in turnover. Through targeted industry policy measures, regional ecosystems for manufacturing can be created where solar photovoltaic products will be produced in large GW-scale factories. Manufacturers of machinery and equipment with the label ‘Made in Germany' and ‘Made in Europe' are ready to support future projects worldwide,” said Peter Fath, Managing Director of RCT Solutions and Chairman of the Board of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment.

Sales up, incoming orders down

European mechanical engineering companies, including those in Germany, reported a sales increase of 50% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. This was also 7% higher compared to the same period last year.

Approximately 88% of total sales in the second quarter were generated by the Asian market, which includes both China and India, according to the VDMA. The U.S. market had a 4% share of sales this past quarter, while the European market, including Germany, held a 7.5% share.

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“The Asian market retains its leading position as the main market for products from German PV equipment companies. Thanks to the programs for local production in India and the USA, the market in these countries is stable and will become expected to grow steadily in the coming quarters,” stated Jutta Trube, Division Manager, VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment.

Indeed, most of the incoming orders in the second quarter, were from the Asian market (82%), whereas the German and European regions combined represented 10.6% of incoming orders and the U.S. represented 7.3% of orders.

The positive sales news is somewhat tempered by incoming order figures, which were reportedly down by 14% compared to the first quarter.

The thin film sector accounts for about a third of the equipment suppliers’ total turnover, with crystalline cell manufacturing equipment representing the majority share. As for types of equipment in demand, it is components that dominate the sales channel, rather than complete equipment systems.

Furthermore, sales of equipment for the production of ingots and wafers remained at a “very low” level for several quarters, according to the VDMA.

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