NPD Solarbuzz predicts 25% increase in 2014 polysilicon demand

NPD Solarbuzz expects the rate of growth for polysilicon demand to rise for the second consecutive year in 2014
NPD Solarbuzz expects the rate of growth for polysilicon demand to rise for the second consecutive year in 2014

NPD Solarbuzz Inc. (Santa Clara, California, U.S.) has released a report which predicts that demand for polysilicon for both solar photovoltaic (PV) and semiconductor applications will increase 25% in 2014 to 282,000 metric tons.

The company's latest “Polysilicon and Wafer Supply Chain Quarterly” states that demand is driven by growing global PV markets, which it expects to total 49 GW in 2014. NPD Solarbuzz predicts steady but lower demand for very high-purity polysilicon for semiconductor applications.

The company also notes that there is a three- to six-month lag time between the production of polysilicon and its conversion into silicon wafers, PV cells and finally PV modules, which can push polysilicon demand higher than module demand in a rapidly expanding market.

NPD Solarbuzz describes a positive feedback cycle, where strong end-market PV demand is driving greater polysilicon production levels, which reduces costs, both increasing profitability and driving future end-market demand.

 

Less silicon used on a per-watt basis

“Conversely, the amount of silicon required per watt at the module level has been declining steadily each year,” said NPD Solarbuzz PV Charles Annis. “Solar supply chain companies have lowered the number of grams-per-watt by reducing wafer thickness and kerf loss, increasing yields in all manufacturing steps, reducing module loss, and continuously raising panel efficiency.”

NPD Solarbuzz estimates that between 2005 and the end of 2014 the average amount of silicon used in a PV module will have fallen 55%, to roughly five grams per watt.

 

2014-02-12 | Courtesy: NPD Solarbuzz | solarserver.com © Heindl Server GmbH

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