2017 is going to be a very interesting year for the PV module manufacturers and for the wider industry as a whole. The well reported oversupply issue is going to cause waves across the industry. A slowdown in the Chinese market will mean that module manufacturers are going to be producing modules way in excess of the demand. As this report shows this is going to have a significant effect in driving costs down as manufacturers are forced to reduce prices to sell the excess stock. The price pressure is inevitably going to hit some of the module manufacturers hard and no doubt some will no longer be able to continue. Manufacturing efficiencies can only go so far in clawing back some of the margin.
Whilst this is bad news for the manufacturers, PV developers and homeowners will be able to benefit from huge reductions in installation prices which will result in a boom in installations in certain markets. Another interesting outcome is that this could also act as a boost for the energy storage market as the reductions in PV prices will free up budgeted cash to add storage to PV projects, especially with battery prices continuing to fall themselves. The turbulent life on the solarcoaster continues!
The cost of solar PV modules is likely to fall dramatically in 2017, driven by a glut in the global manufacturing market that could deliver prices as low as $US0.30/Watt, according to a leading analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. BNEF is not the only analyst to suggest big falls. Deutsche Bank is also expecting a fall to around 40c/watt from current levels above 50c/watt. BNEF expects the same, but says there is a risk that the price could fall even further, to 30c/watt. That would be great news for the builders of solar plants, and for people putting solar on the roofs of their homes or businesses. It is less good for the health of manufacturers, although it could spark another round of manufacturing efficiencies. Some, though, may not survive.