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MARKET-TRENDS
GTM Research
Photovoltaics through 2012 - the anatomy of a shakeout

Fueled by aggressive policies and generous subsidies in key markets, global PV demand has grown from a mere 125 MW in 1999 to 4.5 GW in 2008. But over the last six months, the PV market has witnessed a perfect storm emerge, with a looming global recession and severe tightening of credit markets. Amid news of slowing demand, idling lines and cancellations of capacity additions, concerns over modest oversupply have escalated into fears of a full-blown shakeout and a dramatic decline in market size. To comprehensively lay out the causes and implications of recent dynamic shifts within the PV industry over the next few years, GTM Research and the Prometheus Institute are releasing PV Technology, Production and Cost, 2009 Forecast: The Anatomy of a Shakeout.

Report Findings
  • Global module capacity will grow to 27.5 GW by 2012 from 5.7 GW in 2007, sufficient to produce 23 GW of PV modules. Thin-film modules will have a market share of 34 percent in 2012 from 13 percent in 2007, and rapid uptake of thin film will create new market leaders.
  • Module costs for crystalline silicon will halve by 2015 to $1.40 per watt; costs for CIGS thin films will be down to 75 cents per watt. Falling costs are quickly setting the stage for "grid parity" in major markets, which will fuel demand for long-term growth.
  • Dramatically falling prices in 2009 will impact major players; high-efficiency monocrystalline and low-cost thin-film technologies will have a 30 percent efficiency-adjusted cost advantage over traditional multicrystalline producers, leaving them well-positioned to survive the impending shakeout.
  • Asia will constitute 82 percent of global crystalline silicon cells by 2012. The dramatic ramp in production will drive costs down for Asian producers, giving them a significant edge over established European players who will lag behind in expanding manufacturing capacity.

 
PV through 2012 - the anatomy of a shakeout
 

Author Bios
Shyam Mehta is a Senior Analyst at Greentech Media, focusing on global solar markets. Before joining Greentech Media, Shyam was a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research where he covered equities in the alternative energy sector, primarily solar companies. Prior to Goldman, Shyam was a Research Analyst at the Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm, where his work focused on problems within the electricity industry. Shyam received his Bachelor's in Mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Travis Bradford founded the Prometheus Institute in 2003 as a means to connect the vast reach and power of industrial and capital markets with the technologies necessary to sustain and develop long-term economic well-being for people around the world. Travis is currently the Editor-in-Chief of PVNews, the solar energy industry's oldest newsletter, and is the author of Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry published by MIT Press. He is also a partner at Atlas Capital, a hedge fund based in Cambridge, MA.


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