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  • Monday, January 21, 2013


    Solar PV Equipment Spending Declines 72% to $3.6 Billion in 2012…Forecast for 2013 is Further Decline to $2.2 Billion; Survival Strategies Essential to Address Prolonged Downturn in PV Investment

    January 17, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “Solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment spending (covering c-Si ingot-to-module and thin-film) was $3.6 billion for 2012, a 72% decline from the peak of $12.9 billion in 2011, according to new [NPD Solarbuzz] research…Spending for 2013 is forecast to decline even further to $2.2 billion, levels not seen in the industry since 2006…[due to a] halt to capacity investment by PV manufacturers, as well as a lack of upgrades…

    “…[T]he leading equipment suppliers are forecast to be GT Advanced Technologies, Meyer Burger, Applied Materials, and Apollo Solar…[with] PV-specific revenues in excess of $400 million. Only eight PV equipment suppliers are forecast to have PV-specific revenues during 2012 in excess of $100 million, compared to 23 in 2011.”

    “Just 24 months ago, GT Advanced Technologies, Meyer Burger, Applied Materials, and Centrotherm each reported PV backlogs at or above $1 billion. However, successive quarters with minimal new order intake, coupled with strong de-bookings, have reduced PV equipment backlogs to levels last experienced in 1H’06…[which] are unlikely to be repeated for at least three years…

    “With so much competitive c-Si capacity shipped during 2011 and 2012, the biggest fear for tool suppliers is the emergence of a secondary equipment market across China and Taiwan…[T]his would delay any upturn in equipment spending. However, it also suggests that the PV industry is not conforming to a collective roadmap or experiencing a significant technology-buy cycle…[T]he focus of equipment suppliers has now shifted from gaining market share within the PV industry to deciding how to restructure manufacturing and streamline PV R&D…”


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