Electronics Production | August 06, 2012
No End-of-Year rush for German solar market in 2012
A midyear subsidy change approved by the German government for photovoltaic (PV) installations in rooftops will continue to drive solar demand for the remainder of 2012, although no year-end rally is expected that will boost overall PV capacity for the country, according to IHS.
The new feed-in-tariff (FIT), approved June 27 and retroactive to April 1, means the pattern for solar installation in Germany will change this year. In 2011, 55 percent of annual installations took place in the fourth quarter after feed-in-tariffs were introduced late in the year, and the market rushed to take advantage of the subsidies before the year was over. With the new legislation, no year-end scramble is expected to occur, and only 28 percent of installations slated for 2012 will take place in the fourth quarter, as presented in the figure attached. “Overall PV installation capacity this year in Germany, the world’s largest solar market, is forecast to amount to 7.3 gigawatts (GW), down just slightly from 7.5GW in 2011,” said Henning Wicht, Ph.D., director for PV advanced products at IHS. “However, PV installations in the second half of this year won’t match the scale undertaken for the same period in 2011. This is largely because of differences in the timetables for the implementation of subsidies between the two years—and how customers respond to these changes.” German solar market enters mature stage Annual installations of approximately 7GW to 8GW have been the norm since 2010, when the German solar market was deemed to have reached maturity after six years of development. That level is likely to decline in 2013, and then is forecast to rise from 2014 when investments pay off, even without tariffs. The current new subsidy will have the effect of making the residential rooftop segment more appealing. Rooftop systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) will receive a FIT of 19.5 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), while those up to 40kW will obtain a FIT of 18.5 euro cents per kWh. Tariffs ranging from 13.5 to 16.6 euro cents per kWh will also apply to rooftops sized 1 megawatt (MW) and 10MW, respectively; FITs will not be applicable to any system larger than 10 megawatts. The great degression An important element of the new legislation is the introduction of monthly tariff degressions—or a gradual descent in stages—starting on May 1. The new regulation will replace the annual FIT cut that typically occurs in January, and the amount of the monthly FIT change will also be variable, depending on how the market is to be regulated toward a target corridor. The maximum annual degression is fixed at 29 percent. All told, the subsidy program will be capped at 52GW of cumulative installations, which IHS expects will have reached 27GW by the end of June, contributing 5.3 percent of electricity supply in Germany. Before the cap is reached, the subsidy scheme will be re-evaluated, the new law stipulates. While the pull-forward effect in the residential segment due to the FIT constitutes good news, there’s also cause to take warning. With the change in installation patterns expected this year because of the tariffs, PV module suppliers should not ship the same amount of goods as they have in the past. To do so would incite another cycle of price declines—a development that the industry can ill afford. Worldwide struggles Outside of Germany for the rest of the global solar industry, PV participants continue to face arduous operational and financial challenges, including ongoing oversupply, volatile pricing and drastic subsidy cuts. In particular, a decline in average selling prices accompanied by slimming margins has thrown even top-tier manufacturers into turmoil. Arizona-based First Solar, for instance, is shutting down its German module factory by the fourth quarter and will also be idling four of its 24 production lines in Malaysia. Meanwhile, SunPower of California has announced the closure of its factory and manufacturing site in the Philippines. The latest casualties to be added to the list of companies vacating the PV space include Abound Solar, which has closed its facilities in Colorado; and Schott Solar, which has shuttered operations in Europe and the US. Of the Top 60 companies operating in the PV space, the number of PV manufacturer closures and bankruptcies so far this year has now reached 12—or 20 if project developers are included. A solar rebound is expected next year when demand is projected to increase—but the benefits of the market uptick will extend only to those who endure and see the year through successfully.
Teslas German venture comes to a halt following court order A court in Germany has ordered the US electric carmaker to stop clearing the forest at its future location outside Berlin.
Marposs expands with acquisition of Stil Precision metrology equipment supplier Marposs has acquired STIL S.A.S., a French company specializing in research, development, production and sales of optical measurement instruments.
Z-AXIS shares good news from 2019 Electronics design and CMS provider Z-AXIS Inc. released 2019 data showing showing robust revenue growth as well as an expansion to its workforce.
Fluidra reaches a deal to acquire Fabtronics Fluidra, a company within the pool and wellness equipment industry, has acquired Australian electronics manufacturer Fabtronics to strengthen its R&D capabilities and to incorporate complete, efficient and cost-effective electronics design and manufacturing solutions.
Garz & Fricke acquires Keith & Koep Hamburg-based Garz & Fricke Group has acquired Keith & Koep GmbH, located in Wuppertal, Germany. With this move, a new powerhouse for ARM-based embedded technologies in Europe has been formed.
ABB to close Hungarian plant – 1’000 jobs lost The power and automation company will close its production facility in Ozd, in northeastern Hungary, by the end of the year.
AT&S' plant Chongqing II back in operation Austrian PCB manufacturer, AT&S, announces that the Plant II at its Chinese location in Chongqing will resume operations.
Arçelik A.Ş files IP lawsuit against LG Arçelik A.S, owners of the Beko and Grundig brands, filed a lawsuit against LG Electronics and its subsidiaries in Germany and France for patent infringement in relation to the unlicensed implementation of the company’s direct drive technology in LG Electronics’ “6 Motion” washing machines.
Seagate unifying workforce at green Fremont site Data storage and management solutions provider Seagate Technology plc is consolidating its San Francisco Bay Area workforce by relocating the company’s Cupertino operations to its existing sustainable Fremont facility.
Coronavirus afflicts more electronic supply chains With the epidemic arriving at dawn of 5G’s mainstream deployment phase, the coronavirus has the potential to disrupt the progress of the next-generation wireless standard, as the crisis slows or threatens to slow the production of key smartphone components, including displays and semiconductors, according to Omdia.
Solid financial improvements for Kitron EMS provider Kitron could show off solid financial improvements, both for the fourth quarter and full year 2019.
Zollner resumes operations in China The German EMS provider Zollner says that its plant in Taicang is reopened. Work continues under strict safety conditions and not to the full extent.
Step-by-Step: Foxconn makes progress in WI Next construction phases of vertical construction, including steel placement, have commenced at Foxconn’s 296,000-square-foot Smart Manufacturing Center at the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park (WVSTP).
Eaton boosts offerings with acquisition of PDI Inc. Power management company Eaton has struck a deal to purchase Virginia-based Power Distribution Inc. (PDI), a supplier of mission critical power distribution, static switching, and power monitoring equipment.
BASF to set up cathode active material production in Germany BASF is planning a new battery materials production site in Schwarzheide, Germany, as part of its multi-step investment plan to support the European electric vehicle (EV) value chain.
Shipment from China to GPV sites worldwide has restarted Some of GPV's most important suppliers in China are back in operation which means that important shipment to GPV sites worldwide has restarted. However, not all supplies might be complete, the company says.
Orbit One expands with new test team in Poland The Swedish EMS provider is launching another test team within the group.
Volvo and Geely considers a combined company Volvo Car AB and Geely Automobile Holdings Limited are considering combining their businesses to create a strong global group, which would accelerate financial and technological synergies between the two companies.
Cepton nails major funding from Koito Lidar technology specialist Cepton Technologies Inc. has secured USD 50 million in Series C funding from Koito Manufacturing Co. Ltd., a Tier 1 provider of automotive lighting systems.
RoboSense obtains IATF 16949 certification Automotive LiDAR manufacturer, RoboSense, has obtained the IATF 16949 certificate in the automotive field, which now fully qualifies it to supply to automotive customers.
Manz to deliver assembly lines to Akasol for battery production Manz AG has received an order from the German Akasol AG for assembly lines to produce lithium-ion battery modules. The placing of the order with a total volume of up to EUR 20 million euros has been split into several tranches.
ZKW with new locations in Korea and China The ZKW Group ended 2019 by establishing a branch in Incheon, Korea, near Seoul.
Connected Community Networks picks up Introbotix Colorado-based Connected Community Networks (CCN), a provider of products and services for development, verification and manufacturing in the high-frequency electronics space, has acquired testing specialist Introbotix.
GPV's Chinese facility will remain closed The Chinese Central Government and the Chinese Epidemic Command Centre have prolonged the curfew in the provinces Hubei and Guangdong. Guangdong (Pearl River delta) is the second most affected province in China and also the province where GPV’s production site is situated.Load more news