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  • Tuesday, November 6, 2012


    Order Cancellations Drive PV Book-to-Bill Ratio into Negative Territory…Capacity Rationalization and Equipment De-Bookings Provide Further Delay to Next Technology Buy Cycle

    October 22, 2012 (SolarBuzz)

    “Production equipment order cancellations and push-outs by solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers during 2012 exceeded $3 billion by the end of Q3’12, according to new research [from NPD Solarbuzz]…This has resulted in a significant reduction in order backlogs for PV equipment suppliers, with Q3’12 representing the fourth consecutive quarter of 30% Q/Q backlog declines. When combined with maintenance-only quantities of new orders seen by PV equipment suppliers, the PV book-to-bill ratio has fallen into negative territory, the first time since the industry began to take off in the mid-2000s…

    “Customers of PV…cell and module makers…continue to undergo a painful capacity rationalization process, caused by chronic over-investment dating back to 2010. However, quarterly manufacturing capacity for c-Si cells and modules remains constant at 13 GW, with new capacity coming online cancelling out the existing capacity that is being shuttered and idled…”

    “…During Q3’12, utilization rates for cell and module capacity had to be reduced considerably…However, PV manufacturers remain highly cautious about short-term capacity and production plans…[due to] several ongoing anti-dumping investigations. Some Chinese c-Si manufacturers are considering geographic diversification of their manufacturing capacity.

    “PV equipment spending is forecast to decline by more than 66% during 2012, and to remain at pre-2008 levels of $5 billion during 2013. Equipment spending is not forecast to rebound until at least 2014, with tier 1 spending accounting for over 90% of addressable revenues. PV equipment spending over the next 12-18 months will be comprised of process tool upgrades, advanced high-efficiency pilot lines, and potential geographic capacity diversification to address any trade restrictions or local content requirements…”


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