Total global LED chip production capacity has entered a new peak expansionary phase in 2017, according to the latest LED market supply and demand analysis by LEDinside, a division of TrendForce. This recent surge of capacity expansion for LED chips has been a response to the rising demand from Chinese LED package suppliers that had started raising their production capacities earlier in 2016.
The latest lithium-ion battery market report from EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, finds that the price upswing for battery cells has started to moderate since this third quarter. Although the price of cobalt reached a new high for the recent years during the third quarter, prices of battery cells have been climbing more slowly after the large hikes in the second quarter. The overall price increase in the battery cell market is anticipated to be even smaller for this fourth quarter.
Taiwan’s three solar companies Gintech, Neo Solar Power (NSP) and Solartech signed an MOU on October 16 announcing their intention to merge as one single corporate entity by the third quarter of 2018. According to EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, the combined production capacity for photovoltaic (PV) cells of these three companies is projected to reach 5 gigawatts (GW). This estimate not only takes account of their combined 3.5GW capacity in Taiwan but also their combined 1.5GW capacity from their facilities located in Mainland China, Thailand and Vietnam. The company that resulted from this merger – United Renewable Energy Co., Ltd. (UREC) – will not only become the largest solar enterprise in Taiwan but also the world’s fifth-largest cell maker in terms of capacity and second-largest cell suppliers in terms of overseas shipping.
Prices of LED lightbulbs remained on the downtrend in September, reports LEDinside, a division of TrendForce. Compared with the prior month, the global average sales price (ASP) of 40-watt equivalent LED light bulbs fell by 2.1% to US$6.3, while the global ASP of the 60-watt equivalent products also dropped by 2.3% to US$7.5.
The U.S. International Commission (ITC) announced on September 22 (local time) that it has accepted Suniva’s petition to seek relief against all solar imports under Section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act. Following the affirmation of Suniva’s claim, ITC will develop recommendations to safeguard the U.S. solar market against imports from Asia. EnergyTrend, TrendForce’s green energy research division, states that ITC’s ruling is expected to raise the solar trade barrier significantly and may slash the U.S. photovoltaic (PV) demand for the whole 2018 by half.