The latest quarterly-updated report from IMS Research has indicated that significant decreases in the “new” manufacturing capacity required coupled with a limited demand for upgrade or replacement of existing capacity will result in a projected market decline of over 55 percent in revenues in 2012 from 2011.

Senior Research Analyst Tim Dawson comments: “IMS Research estimates that the PV manufacturing equipment market, after a record year in 2011 ($12.8 billion revenues), will be worth just over $5.7 billion in 2012. Massive over-capacity, coupled with a reduction in demand, has led manufacturers either to postpone or, where possible, cancel orders for new manufacturing equipment, at least in the short term.”  

Dawson continues: “Longer term, although a return to growth is inevitable for 2013, a strong V-shaped recovery has not been forecast. The PV manufacturing equipment market will instead steadily recover; as companies look to invest once again in new equipment to remain competitive, improve their production processes, increase cell efficiencies, and reduce the cost per watt associated with the ultimate end product.”

The over-capacity that now exists in the solar PV market has been caused by recent heavy investment in additional capacity.