Product orders are tapering off across the PV supply chain as some projects that are required to connect to the grid before the year-end deadline are almost completed. Though polysilicon, wafer and cell prices have been on the rise during the past one and half months, the market demand has cooled down a bit. Corrine Lin, assistance research manager of EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, stated that prices of polysilicon, wafers and cells will soon experience a small decline.
The result of the U.S. election may further aggravate the oversupply situation in the global PV market, according to Celeste Tsai, analyst for EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce. The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar power, which the U.S. Congress has extend to the end of December 2022 will maintain PV demand in the U.S. at 8~13GW each year from 2017 to 2019. “Donald Trump’s administration wholly supports fossil fuels over renewable energies, so there is a strong possibility that the U.S. will stop subsidizing the installation of PV systems altogether,” noted Tsai. “Under this scenario, the U.S. will witness a great urgency to install PV systems before the ITC cut-off date, followed by a freeze in domestic demand and a worsening of the current oversupply problem in the global PV market.”
China’s xEV (plug-in) vehicle market through 2016 has been roiled by news of government fining auto makers for falsely claiming subsidies. Though the scandal has reduced some of the expansionary momentum in the Chinese plug-in vehicle market, sales are expected to grow significantly in this year’s fourth quarter because buyers are spurred by the further reduction of purchase subsidies next year.
Taiwan’s government has focused on expanding the island’s PV power generation as part of its plan to abandon nuclear power. In terms of targets, Taiwan aims to add 1.52GW of PV capacity between mid-2016 and mid-2018 and ultimately achieve a cumulative capacity of 20GW in 2025. If 1.52GW plan is successfully implemented, Taiwan will be joining Thailand as one of the world’s 10 largest PV markets in 2017 with an annual demand reaching 900MW, according to EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce. With the global PV demand being almost flat next year, Taiwan is now considered a highly prospective market for major enterprises within the supply chain.
PV product manufacturers in Taiwan and China saw orders returning in the second half of September, while prices of polysilicon, wafers and PV cells started to rally after reaching their lows, according to EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce. The capacity utilization rates of many manufacturers also rose from under 50% back to 70~80%. As the Chinese government has planned to significantly cut its renewable energy subsidy in the middle of 2017, EnergyTrend expects the country’s PV system installation demand to take off again towards the end of 2016.