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  • Monday, October 22, 2012


    The Solar Industry’s Living Dead: 180 Module Manufacturers to Succumb to Consolidation by 2015; What does the future hold for struggling U.S., European, and Asian manufacturers, as well as China’s solar zombies?

    October 16, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    “With GTM Research estimating global PV supply to be in excess of demand by an average of 35 gigawatts per year over the next three years, 180 existing module manufacturers will either expire or acquiesce to acquisition by 2015. The largest number (88) of casualties will exit high-cost manufacturing markets in the U.S., Europe, and Canada."

    “…[ Global PV Module Manufacturing 2013: Competitive Positioning, Consolidation and the China Factor analyzes] more than 300 module manufacturers, their global facilities, business models, financial health and chance of acquisition or expiry. The report also examines the market conditions and competitive metrics that will affect the trajectory of these firms over the next three years, including global demand, manufacturing costs, the influence of Chinese lenders, and the innovative upstream and downstream strategies that will buoy business lines…[It also considers Chinese module manufacturers’ strategies] in the face of U.S. and potentially European import tariffs…

    “The report estimates that 54 of the 180 ill-fated firms will come from China. Most of these are so-called ‘solar zombies,’ companies with manufacturing capacities less than 300 megawatts that have operated uncompetitively with support from the government. China’s number of ill-fated firms could be much higher if not for an aggressive downstream build-out that will prop up select domestic suppliers. China’s recent announcement to increase its cumulative 2015 solar target from 15 gigawatts to 21 gigawatts will most likely provide captive demand for firms such as Alex Solar, LDK Solar, and Astronergy."

    “In addition, as evidenced by the municipal loan to LDK Solar in July 2012 and the China Development Bank’s renewal of its pledge to support twelve selected domestic suppliers, GTM Research anticipates that the Chinese government will continue to provide financial support to established firms with large workforces in order to cover near-term debt obligations, or possibly to encourage diversified Chinese industrial conglomerates to acquire these companies. Potential beneficiaries of these strategies include Trina Solar, Yingli Green Energy, Suntech Power, JA Solar, Jinko Solar and Renesola; these companies make up more than 20 percent of existing global module capacity.”


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