According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, demand for PV self-consumption continues to increase in Europe due to the decreased FiT and the increased electricity price and surcharge fees for grid-connection. Besides, the installation area for roof-top systems is somewhat limited, thus relevant users mostly pay more attention on the amount of electricity generated. This, along with concerns toward visual and aesthetic quality, has caused demand for mono-si cells to increase significantly.
As indicated by EnergyTrend’s investigation, mono-si cell orders substantially rose among Taiwan’s cell manufacturers recently. The proportion of mono-si cell shipment has also been raised for relevant manufacturers. The investigation result showed that that the proportion of mono-si cell shipment for Taiwan’s first-tier manufacturers has increased from 5% in the beginning of the year to more than 20%. Starting from the second quarter, mono-si cell demand has started to increase. Orders in the second half year are likely to continuously increase because of the growth in the Japanese market. In addition, demand in the fourth quarter may further increase. As for mono-si cell efficiency, it has remained above 19.2%. The advanced technology will likely bring the product efficiency to 19.4% from 4Q13 to 1Q14.
On the other hand, with the concept of self-consumption gradually maturing, roof-top systems have become the mainstream in the region that has a matured PV market. Based on the data, 53% of the roof-top systems have been used on residential and commercial areas in the European market in 2012. EnergyTrend estimates that the proportion will increase to around 55% in 2013 and close to 60% by 2014. Aside from residential and commercial areas, roof-top systems can also be used on industrial areas as the proportion of self-consumption within the industrial areas begins to increase, which also helps raise the ratio of roof-top systems within the global PV market.
According to EnergyTrend’s data, roof-top market currently represents 60% of the global PV market. The percentage is the highest, about 80%, in the European regions. As for Northern America and Asia and Pacific, it’s around 50%. EnergyTrend indicates that the market share of roof-top systems will continuously increase in Europe. Moreover, under the influence of other PV policies, mono-si products will become the major products promoted by Taiwan’s manufacturers.
Judging from spot market’s overall performance, although last week’s average price remained steady, certain manufacturers have planned to expand the production capacity due to the increased market demand and high utilization rate for major manufacturers. For wafers, last week’s average price of multi-si wafers was a 0.11% drop. It’s because some buyers used better payment terms in exchange for better price. For mono-si wafers, last week’s average price remained flat. For cells, last week’s average price also remained steady. For modules, last week’s average price was unchanged. The price gap has reduced between first-tier and second-tier manufacturers as second-tier’s utilization rate has significantly increased. It is worth observing how the future pricing trend will develop from this point forward.