The world’s top five most attractive countries for solar PV module manufacturing has received a boost from a “flurry of new module manufacturing capacity” in 2014.
This, according to new research published by GTM Research today in its Global PV Manufacturing Attractive Index 2015 (PVMAX), which ranks the world’s most attractive countries in which to manufacturer solar PV modules.
Despite what GTM Research describes as “a flurry of new module manufacturing capacity” during 2014, China still reigns as the number one most attractive country in which to manufacturer PV modules, but conversely, the authors of the report were surprised to find that the United States is the world’s fifth most attractive module manufacturing country
In all, the top 10 included (in order): China, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the United States, India, Thailand, Canada, South Korea, and Germany.
“The U.S. is a very attractive country for manufacturing and ranks higher than any other highcost country because of its robust domestic demand and access to markets globally,” said Mohit Anand, report author and GTM Research Senior Solar Analyst. “The report notes that close to 10 percent of new module manufacturing capacity announcements this year has been for plants located in the U.S. “Anything that helps grow domestic demand, including an extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit, would further support U.S. attractiveness to manufacturers.”
Following several years of a persistent oversupply of solar PV modules, the market is finally returning to a more stable supply situation thanks to two separate factors identified by GTM researchers: First, consolidation and facility closures have tightened supplies; and second, global PV demand is expected to increase over the following five years.
In fact, GTM Research predicts that solar PV demand will reach 135 GW in 2020.
This could in fact lead to a “supply crunch” by the end of the decade, as demand ramps up high enough to put a healthy strain on the supply of solar PV modules. Specifically, GTM Research is predicting an excess module capacity of only 26%, where an excess capacity between 30% and 70% would be more ideal.
Module Excess Capacity Ratio
GTM Research ranked countries’ attractiveness according to the following key measures and relative weights:
- Business environment – 10%
- Access to demand – 40%
- PV manufacturing support – 15%
- All-in costs – 35%