Latest results from its recently published report ‘The World Market for PV Cells and Modules’ reveal that PV module shipments grew considerably once again in 2009 – by over 25%, to more than 8GW; however analysis also revealed that new installations grew just 5-10%. After Q1 and Q2’s disastrous results, many had in fact expected shipments to decline. However, following unprecedented growth in Q3 and Q4, results show that module shipments grew by over 25%.
With 2009 PV module shipments growing far beyond expectation and installations growing less spectacularly, the natural question to ask is where all of these modules have gone? “We are seeing delays of two quarters between a module being shipped and it finally being connected to the grid and therefore being counted as an ‘installation’ in official figures – perhaps longer in very large installations,” offered Sam Wilkinson, one of IMS Research’s PV market analysts.
“In addition, we’ve seen that a significant proportion of PV modules were shipped in Q4 in anticipation of an unseasonably strong German market in the first half of 2010. This is likely to have been caused by intense speculation of a cut to the German tariff in July, reversing the country’s normal seasonality” Wilkinson added.
IMS Research is a supplier of market research and consultancy services on a wide range of global electronics markets. The company is supported by headquarters in Wellingborough, UK and offices in Austin, Texas and Shanghai, China. IMS Research regularly publishes detailed research on the PV market, among others.