IMS Research says Solyndra’s shutdown is no surprise
Market analyst, IMS Research reckons that US PV module supplier, Solyndra’s decision shut its manufacturing facility and will file for bankruptcy should come as no surprise and says the announcement should act as a warning to all other PV module start-ups.
Solyndra began commercially shipping its innovative PV module solution, featuring cylindrical modules mounted in frames, in 2008. The product offered a solution and some compelling advantages, but ultimately PV is an investment and the price has to be right.
“Despite Solyndra operating its 110 MW facility close to full capacity in recent months, we estimate that its manufacturing costs still far exceeded the price at which it had to sell its modules at.in order to make an investment case for its customers,” commented Senior Research Analyst, Sam Wilkinson. “It was losing money fast, and for that reason the closure really comes as no surprise. Whether further capacity expansion, increased production and a few more years of technical advancements could have changed the situation is debatable, but now we will never know.”
IMS Research recently announced that its latest round of quarterly research reveals that Chinese module suppliers have strengthened their position in the market, that the market is showing signs of consolidation, and that competition is only going to get more intense. The PV module industry has recently suffered from a huge oversupply, which has led to fierce price competition with average prices dropping by around 20% in a single quarter. Of course, this will not have helped Solyndra in its bid to compete, and was cited as one of the reasons for its closure.
The company’s failure will come as a warning to the vast number of other thin film startups that have recently emerged. “Whilst Solyndra’s product was different so that it cannot be simply considered alongside other CIGS modules, it demonstrates the need for smaller companies to reach scale and volume quickly in order to compete,” added Sam Wilkinson. “All PV module manufacturing, and CIGS in particular, relies on scale to reach attractive cost levels, and any supplier currently producing in relatively small volumes is at an instant disadvantage compared to the GW-scale manufacturers that are currently dominating the market,” continued Wilkinson.
This was highlighted in fellow thin film innovator, Uni-Solar’s recent announcement that its manufacturing cost more than doubled to $3.40/W in Q2’11, when it temporarily reduced production of its flexible modules by almost 80%. This cost is most likely more than double its average selling price for the quarter according to IMS Research.
Visit IMS Research – Photovoltaics at www.pvmarketresearch.com
- Solar industry capital spending hits seven-year low in 2013 but upturn is on the cards
- u-blox to develop 3G HSPA module based on Intel's XMM 6255 HSPA platform
- Tightly knit network to cure range angst, study says
- Imec and Renesas collaborate on ultra-low power short range radios
- EU antidumping duties could block Chinese modules out of the European Market
- Solar PV wafer production to grow 19 percent in 2013, forecasts NPD Solarbuzz
- Automotive 3-phase power module enables higher torque systems for lower fuel consumption
- New growth opportunities for Electroactive Polymers
- Top 20 Solar PV module suppliers capture 70 percent market share in first quarter of 2013 reports NPD Solarbuzz
- IEEE802.11a/b/g/n Compatible WLAN-module supports data rates up to 150Mbps
- Volvo evaluates flywheel hybrid drive - fuel savings of up to 25%
- PV storage market is set to grow to USD19bn by 2017
- Accutronics offers new custom battery service
- Nordic Semiconductor releases world's smallest Bluetooth low energy and ANT+ ICs
- Power-One enters into patent license agreement with Microchip
- Quad-MOSFET solution boosts efficiency and eliminates heat sinking in active bridge applications
- Ultra-low-power SoC supports world's smallest Bluetooth location stickers
- Market for GaN and SiC power semiconductors set to rise by factor of 18 in next decade
- Advanced microcontroller combines floating point and low leakage technology to achieve longest battery lifetime in portable applications
- Power MOSFETs are 80 percent smaller than conventional chips while offering better thermal dissipation
- High Voltage Surge Stoppers Ensure Reliable Operation During Power Surges
- Motor-Drive Design made Simple
- Adaptive Cell Converter Topology Enables Constant Efficiency in PFC Applications
- Micropower Isolated Flyback Converter with Input Voltage Range from 6V to 100V
- Derating of Schottky Diodes
- Heatsink Optimization
- High Performance ZVS Buck Regulator Removes Barriers To Increased Power Throughput
- Waste heat replaces batteries
- Stepper Motor Control IC
- 50Ω Gain Block IF Amplifier