According to IMS Research, PV module production capacity increased by almost 70% during 2010, reaching nearly 30 GW by the end of the year. It is forecast to continue increasing despite the growth of PV installations being predicted to slow from more than 100% in 2010 to less than 20% in 2011.
Demand for PV modules reached record levels in all regions in 2010, driven by the attractive returns presented by incentive schemes, particularly in European countries such as Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic — the three largest markets last year. However, like many others, these countries have reduced the rates they offer for electricity generated from PV systems from the start of 2011; as a result, although global PV installations are still expected to increase in 2011, they will do so at a far slower rate.
Regardless of slowing installations, most suppliers, many of which remained capacity-constrained throughout 2010, are proceeding with aggressive capacity expansions. IMS Research forecasts that 35 GW of annual capacity will be reached within the first half of 2011, despite installations in the same period being predicted to reach no more than one fifth of that amount. As a result, it is likely that there will be an oversupply of modules this year, leading to tougher competition and decreasing prices from suppliers.
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Source: IMS Research