PV module revenues stagnate for 2011

There will be no revenue growth for photovoltaic modules this year.

Globally, solar installations are picking up the pace – with an expected 14.7 GW expected for the second half of 2011 and 21.2 GW for the year in total, that tricky price balancing means  the module business won’t grow at all as prices shrink.

According to the chief photovoltaics analyst for IHS, the weaker first half of the year means significant price drops for solar modules – as a result, crystalline and thin film module revenues will stagnate.

Analysts say the blame for the first half of the year lies in market changes in Germany and Italy, currently the two largest markets for PV in the world. Module prices in Germany were too expensive, which put off customers in investing until May this year.

Though there was a price drop in May and June, which did stimulate demand, market watchers and potential investors held off until further price cuts. Italy’s new energy policy, the 4th Conto Energia, shook up its market which caused much furrowing of brows for buyers.

IHS claims that the situation is back to OK, now.

Still, modules are remarkable big business. Last year saw total module revenues reach $34.6 billion which will be more or less the same by the end of 2011 – while demand is at an all-time high.

IHS predicts that more price drops will be on the way at the beginning of 2012, destabilising the industry as a whole.