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© photographer dreamstime.com Electronics Production | December 03, 2012

C-Si Germany: Crystalline silicon solar module pricing declines

El Segundo, Calif. Average pricing in October for crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) modules declined in nearly all worldwide regions because of weak demand in Germany, according to the IHS PV Module Price Tracker from information and analytics provider IHS.
The average price per watt for c-Si PV modules declined in a range of 1.9 percent to 3.5 percent from September to October in the European Union, China, the United States, Japan and the rest of the world. The only major country to buck the trend was Canada, where prices rose by 5.5 percent.

“European demand for PV modules dropped off in October, primarily due to developments in the solar powerhouse of Germany,” said Glenn Gu, senior analyst, photovoltaics, at IHS. “After PV system installations surged in September, the German solar market decelerated in October. When combined with weakening conditions in other EU countries including Greece and Bulgaria, Germany’s slowdown had a major impact on module demand and pricing in the European Union and throughout the world.”

Pricing varies by region
Canada in October maintained the highest pricing of all regions, at an average of $0.96 per watt. At the other end of the spectrum was China, where pricing averaged $0.58.

The biggest decline in costs in October occurred in the United States, where Chinese-made c-Si modules experienced a 3.5 percent decline in pricing to $0.69 per watt, down from $0.71 in September.

Much of this price decline was due to plunging costs among third-tier Chinese suppliers. Module prices for these suppliers dropped by nearly 5 percent in October.

The figure attached presents pricing for c-Si PV modules in major worldwide regions.

Prices to fall more in coming months
Prices are expected to decline during the period from November through January 2013.

Chinese c-Si modules sold in Europe are expected to decline by 1.1 percent in November. Module prices shipped within China will decline by a larger margin. Looking ahead, 2 to 5 percent price declines are expected during the next three months in all regions.

Demand rebounds—but pricing doesn’t
Emerging markets are expected to increase their orders for c-Si modules in 2013.

However, most of these countries are demanding cheaper modules in order to increase their return on investment from installations of new systems. Because of this, prices are set to continue to decline at least through early 2013.

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