According to VDMA, in H2/2019 things look a little more promising for Germany's solar PV production equipment industry as Asian companies seem to be looking at upgrading their production capacity, while India’s focus on building new capacities is particularly interesting.
- After a lull following Chinese solar policy development in May 2018, the VDMA says German solar PV production equipment makers saw their order intake going up by 18% sequentially in Q4/2018
- 69% of all orders came from Asia, 10% from America and 6% each from Germany and Europe
- East Asia contributed maximum in the total revenues with 81% shipment going to the region in 2018
- In terms of segments, 55% revenues came from solar cell production equipment followed by production equipment for thin-film technology at 30%
- Export shares of German PV suppliers reached a record 91% between October and December 2018, and book to bill ratio of 0.5 was achieved in Q4/2018
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The 531 policy changes announced by the Chinese government on May 31, 2018 that pulled back financial subsidies for large-scale PV power generation impacted German PV production equipment producers who witnessed order intake dropping in the subsequent quarter (see German PV Equipment Revenues Grew In 9M/2018).
But already in Q4/2018, order books started filling up again – 18% more orders were reported. According to the German Engineering Federation VDMA, 69% of all orders during the last quarter of 2018 came from Asia, 10% from America followed by Germany and Europe accounting for 6% each.
“The order books are full again. Following the decline in orders from China, we now expect orders to reach the previous year’s level, especially as the sustainable development of the solar energy sector should be promoted and the quality of development improved. Both are strengths of German equipment manufacturers,” said Jutta Trube, Division Manager of VDMA Photovoltaic Production Equipment.
In 2018, revenues for German companies went up by 8% as East Asia continued to claim the lion’s share of sales with 81%. China was the biggest market, responsible for 57% of revenues. Germany claimed 8% and the United States took 7% of the shipments.
Solar cell production equipment led sales with 55% revenues, followed by production equipment for thin-film technology at 30%. Export shares of German PV suppliers reached a record 91% between October and December 2018. A book to bill ratio of 0.5 was achieved in Q4/2018.
In the near future, VDMA expects order placements to remain stable or increase slightly going by the future expansion plans of the Asian PV industry with most of these related to thin-film and highly efficient crystalline technologies.
“In the second half of the year, the VDMA again expects slight investments in further production capacities in the Asian countries. In this context, the Indian government’s programme to build new production capacities is particularly noteworthy,” added Dr Peter Fath, Managing Director of RCT Solutions GmbH and Chairman of the Executive Board of VDMA Photovoltaik Produktionsmittel.