PVinsights: A growing concern about price downtrend

Solar panel prices continue to slump this week amid the fierce competition in Northern America and the cooling demand in EU. Disparity between supply and demand in the US market results in strong cut-throat competition. As major module suppliers struggle to offer slashed prices in order to maintain high utilization rates and secure more orders, solar panel prices in the US has witnessed an obvious declining. In EU, with the demand for PV installations beginning to wane on the advent of holiday season, solar panel prices are also trending downwards. In India, the intensified competition have sent solar panel prices lower as many module suppliers are trying to compete for the PV projects in 1Q17. Meanwhile, the demand and prices of solar panel in China and Japan remain fairly stable that current module prices stay almost unchanged from last week.


Solar panel prices continue to slump this week amid the fierce competition in Northern America and the cooling demand in EU. Disparity between supply and demand in the US market results in strong cut-throat competition. As major module suppliers struggle to offer slashed prices in order to maintain high utilization rates and secure more orders, solar panel prices in the US has witnessed an obvious declining. In EU, with the demand for PV installations beginning to wane on the advent of holiday season, solar panel prices are also trending downwards. In India, the intensified competition have sent solar panel prices lower as many module suppliers are trying to compete for the PV projects in 1Q17. Meanwhile, the demand and prices of solar panel in China and Japan remain fairly stable that current module prices stay almost unchanged from last week. As the result, the slowing demand in EU as well as the strengthening price competition in the US and India have sent overall solar panel prices lower this week.

With the depressed module prices, the pressure from downstream sector has forced multi-crystalline cell suppliers to comply with further prices discounts. As the retrieval of solar cell utilization rates have alleviate the fears of tight supply and the weakening module prices have inhibited the price growth of solar cells, both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline cell have begun to pull back from its 3-month peak since mid-November. In fact, solar cell makers have started to accommodate with requests from buyers to offer discounted prices in order to secure orders. The price reduction is most obvious for multi-crystalline cells because of sufficient supply and lowered multi-crystalline wafer costs. On the other hand, mono-crystalline cell prices continue to drop this week with the enlarged correction of mono-PERC cell prices and the weakening downstream module prices. The demand of high efficiency mono-PERC cells have tempered as PV demand in EU zone wanes. Therefore, in order to make up for the demand loss in EU, solar cell suppliers are trying to offer more discounted prices to obtain orders from Chinese module suppliers. Nevertheless, mono-crystalline cell prices are relatively sustainable in contrast to multi-ones due to tight supply and solid demand for high efficiency mono cells.

Multi-crystalline wafer prices continue to tumble this week. Since the top tier multi-crystalline wafer suppliers have officially lower the price quote for December as senses the pressurized downstream prices and dragged by RMB depreciation, the 2nd tier and overseas multi-crystalline wafer suppliers have also set the prices lower in order to maintain their competitiveness. On the other hand, despite weakening downstream solar cell and module prices, mono-crystalline wafer prices remain unchanged this week. Since the demand for mono-crystalline wafer remains solid and supply remains tight, mono-crystalline wafer suppliers could still hold the prices this week still even though the pressure from downstream continues to mount. Nevertheless, the tight supply situation is unable to push up the prices either as being hindered from the declining downstream prices.

Polysilicon prices remain steady this week. The latest attempts to strengthen polysilicon prices have failed although Chinese polysilicon suppliers are trying to leverage the current China AD and CVD review against Korean polysilicon suppliers. As most polysilicon buyers are still embracing a wait-and-see stance, their acceptance to take further price hike has also greatly reduced. As the result, polysilicon prices remain stable this week as buyers are reluctant to accept price hike amid weakening downstream prices.

Featured Product

Easy monitoring with weather sensors from Lufft

Easy monitoring with weather sensors from Lufft

Professional weather sensors form the heart of large solar plants supporting their operation and performance. Lufft was the first manufacturer to combine several sensors in one housing, bringing the largest multiparameter weather sensor family with 19 members into being. Many of them are well-suited for solar site assessment and continuous monitoring. The most commonly used one is the WS600 delivering data on temperature, air pressure, wind, relative humidity and precipitation. Through its open protocol, it can easily be attached to radiation sensors e.g. from Kipp&Zonen. Other models have an integrated Silicon, Second Class or Secondary Standard radiation sensor.