VDMA: German companies still dominant in solar PV equipment industry, even amid downturn

VDMA states that German companies remain in a “competitive position” in PV equipment manufacturing
VDMA states that German companies remain in a “competitive position” in PV equipment manufacturing

The German Engineering Federation (VDMA, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) reports that total revenues from solar photovoltaic (PV) components, equipment and manufacturing plants in Germany decreased 50% in 2012, with orders falling a further 26%.

VDMA states that in addition to overcapacity, trade conflicts have caused additional uncertainty in the sector and dampened the willingness to invest. However, the organization notes that German companies still represented 55% of the total world market during the year, which it describes as a “competitive position”.

"German PV manufacturers and technology suppliers continue to benefit from being innovative, solution oriented and close to their customers,” stated VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment Managing Director Dr. Florian Wessendorf.

“When it comes to competitive capacities as well as to replacement and upgrade of existing production capacities, top performers choose 'Made in Germany' relying on competitive cost structures and top quality.”


Troubles in PV manufacturing not limited to Germany

VDMA's findings are consistent with the extended downturn throughout the global PV equipment industry. SEMI (San Jose, California, US) reported a 0.45 book-to-bill ratio for the industry in the fourth quarter of 2012, the seventh consecutive quarter below parity.


High export ratio 

VDMA also reports an 85% export ratio for the German PV equipment industry, with roughly 70% of revenues from East Asia, and the Asian market dominating new orders. Sales into the United States also grew 30% during the year.


C-si PV cell equipment a key sector

Crystalline silicon PV cell equipment remained a key sector for German companies in 2012, representing 65% of sales. Thin film PV represented another 18% of sales, and VDMA notes that this segment had the lowest decrease compared to other sectors.

The organization stresses diversification, and notes that in order to strengthen the competitiveness of German PV equipment manufacturers, domestic industry leaders have applied new strategies in a changing market environment.

Orders on hand for reporting companies fell to 3.8 production months by the end of 2012, reaching a lower level than the entire machinery industry.




2013-05-08 | Courtesy: VDMA | © Heindl Server GmbH

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