- Asia dominates solar PV equipment manufacturing shipments in 2022, says VDMA, but American and European markets too becoming attractive
- America’s IRA is boosting local manufacturing, thus benefiting European suppliers
- Around 85% of total turnover was represented by silicon-based cell manufacturing and thin-film technology equipment
The German Mechanical Engineering Federation (VDMA) says while Asia remained the most important export market for European PV equipment suppliers in 2022 especially India, geographical diversification is being witnessed as American and European markets become more attractive.
“The Asian solar market continues to deliver the largest turnover for machine and equipment manufacturers, and India in particular is currently quite attractive. In 2022, the first tendencies showed that the American and European markets are becoming more attractive,” said VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment Division Manager, Dr Jutta Trube.
In 2022, German manufacturers recorded an annual decline of around 3% in incoming orders, as turnover dropped by 7%. Nonetheless, there is recovery as the latest ratio of orders of sales stands at 1:5.
VDMA says demand was no longer disrupted as the world emerged from COVID-19 pandemic even though there were still minor supply disruptions for electronic components. Close to 85% of the total turnover came from silicon-based solar cell manufacturing equipment and thin film technology machinery, and remaining from module manufacturing equipment. Ingot and wafering machines contributed little to the numbers.
Last year, the European PV equipment industry reported a 78% export share of which 57% went to Asia. VDMA figures show a total of 22% of the industry’s turnover was achieved in Europe, including Germany, representing an increase of 7% in market share for each of the European and American markets.
“The United States with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), has provided a clear framework of supporting local domestic manufacturing, from which the European solar equipment manufacturers benefit,” said Managing Director of RCT Solutions GmbH and Chairman of the Board of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment, Dr Peter Fath. “On a European level, we also see an improvement that can be even further boosted by effective industrial policy measures. Afterall cost of manufacturing is a key factor for the decision making in solar production line investments.”