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Solar Wafers and Polysilicon see increasing Demand from downstream Solar Cell and Panel Producers

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Increasing Demand for Solar Wafer & Polysilicon

The demand for solar wafers is starting to outstrip supply in certain regions as solar panel demand has increased by more than 25% in 2013. 2014 will Polysiliconbe another banner year with solar analysts predicting that demand may reach as high as 50 GW this year. This will not only support solar panel prices, but also lead to slight shortages in upstream supply of Polysilicon wafers and Polysilicon. Some of the Taiwanese solar cell producers are starting to sign long term contracts with the worlds’ biggest solar wafer maker GCL Poly (GCL), as supply of wafers by local solar wafer manufacturers such as Green Energy is proving to be insufficient.

Polysilicon prices have already crossed $20/kg, after plummeting to a low of $15/kg. Further increase in spot poly price is expected, which means that solar wafer makers will also increase prices. Downstream producers such as Jinko (JKS) are already earning upwards of 20% GM which means that they can absorb some increase in costs, even if they are not able to pass the increased costs to end consumers.

Solar demand will almost double this year from 2012 as people across the world see the benefits of low cost solar energy. Not only is solar energy environment friendly, but it is also becoming fast and easy to install. Solar energy capacity can be put up much faster than fossil fuel plants. Installing a 1 GW solar power plant in 1 year is not impossible, compared to the 5-6 years required to get the environmental clearances, financing and other stuff in place for other types of energy plants. Solar power is also highly versatile as you can add capacity in small installments.


Spot market prices for polysilicon rise to US$23-24/kg in the second quarter of 2014, then quotes for a solar-grade crystalline silicon wafer are likely to be hiked to US$1.15, according to Chen Chi-jen chairman of Taiwan-based solar-grade silicon wafer maker Gigastorage. Spot market prices for polysilicon have risen to over US$20/kg currently, driving quotes for a solar-grade silicon wafer to increase to US$1.08-1.10, Chen indicated. Gigastorage has fully utilized its annual production capacity of 600MWp and will expand capacity to 700MWp at the end of March or early April, Chen pointed out.


Taiwan-based solar cell makers Neo Solar Power and Topcell Solar International will buy high-efficiency polycrystalline silicon wafers from China-based GCL-Poly Energy Holdings, according to a press report from China. Neo Solar have signed a 3-year procurement contract with GCL-Poly, and Topcell a 2-year one, with their total procurement reaching 4GWp, said the report from quamnet.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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