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High efficiency polycrystalline cells to be in a big shortage in 2015

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2015 may be a flat year in terms of solar demand growth with two of the largest markets Japan and China showing declining to flat demand respectively. Other markets such as India and USA will not pick up sharply enough to offset the fall in demand from Japan. However, the market is set to see a huge shortage in supply of high efficiency solar cells, made using multi-crystalline technology with efficiency of 18%. Most of the cell have 16-17% efficiency which will not see much shortage, as they are used in utility projects. But the higher efficiency poly cells which are used in industrial and commercial rooftops will see a shortage. They have a sweet spot in terms of cost and efficiency. While monocrystalline cells will also have a good demand-supply picture, they won’t be in drastic shortage as their overall demand is lower due to their higher costs.

Companies from Taiwan are known for producing high efficiency poly cells and they should benefit from this trend. Most Chinese companies especially Tier 2 do not have the technology and expertise to manufacture high efficiency poly cells. They will continue to see pressure on their demand and pricing. Apart from controlling costs, it has become increasingly important to increase the efficiency of solar products due to market demand. While the large Tier 1 Chinese producers have the money and capability to invest in better equipment, the smaller Chinese companies will flounder.

Read more about Taiwanese manufacturers.

Forecast solar cell supply and demand, 2015

Type of solar cell

Energy conversion rate

Power generation for a PV module (W)

Forecast global supply (GWp)

Forecast global demand (GWp)

Monocrystalline silicon



about 2.5

about 3.0

Polycrystalline silicon



about 5.0

about 15.0

Polycrystalline silicon



about 11.0

about 12.0

Source: Taiwan-based supply chain makers, compiled by Digitimes, December 2014


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

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. sridhar

    Hi Sneha , Thanks for the content you provide on the site with regular updates . Eventhough the question is related to stock specific , I am trying to figure out the subsidiaries that are listed under Swelect energy system wont be able to produce these high energy cells? Our government is focusing on renewable energy , what you would be your opinion interms of implementing is easy for them , I mean “Biogas , Solar or wind ” . Because they have look out for Capital exp, Efficiency in generation of more output etc… What are the key factors they need to consider inorder to implement successfully.
    Please provide your valuable inputs.
    Thank you