July 3 (Renewables Now) - Suniva’s Section 201 petition has led to a jump in US photovoltaic (PV) module orders so EnergyTrend expects the decline in solar prices in the third quarter (Q3) to be “milder” than previously expected.
The research division of Taiwanese market intelligence provider TrendForce has raised its Q3 capacity utilisation rate forecast for the global PV industry from 60% to 80%.
“Before the outcome of the petition will be formally announced this September, PV product suppliers and solar power plant operators are aggressively stocking up and pulling orders ahead as precautionary measures. As a result, there is a rush of orders from the US,” EnergyTrend said.
In China, the government again cut solar subsidies at the end of June. This time the fall in July PV prices was not that steep because certain projects were given a temporary reprieve, but prices in China are still expected to fall in the third and fourth quarter. Because of the petition by Suniva to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), solar prices in Taiwan and markets outside China may follow a different trend and are seen to remain high until September, the research company said.
EnergyTrend thus expects greater variation in prices depending on the country of export as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties in combination with Suniva’s call for relief against imports to the US are driving demand for non-Chinese PV products. It has found that PV cell and module plants in countries not facing trade barriers were starting to operate at full capacity in mid-May.