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Date: 13-12-13

Efficiency, energy-storage, and acquisition are top trends in solar PV for 2014

EnergyTrend identifies three important trends in the solar photovoltaic industry for the year 2014. They are solar cells are going to be more efficient, they're going to be sold with energy storage systems, and the solar PV industry is looking for more acquisitions.

The target efficiency for multi-silicon cell is 18% by the end of year 2014 and the crystalline silicon products remain the mainstream in the overall market, according to EnergyTrend. Multi-si are said to be the most popular ones due to the excellent quality, reasonable price, and simpler power plant design and inverter specifications.

EnergyTrend projects solar PV cell efficiency will rise to 17.6%~17.8% in the first half of 2014. While 60 pieces of cells’ module is equivalent to 250/255W, 72 pieces of cells’ module is equivalent to 300/305W. By the end of 2014, mainstream will be products above 255/305W with efficiency of 17.8%~18%, according to EnergyTrend.

Selling energy storage products along with PV system as a set is also going to be the next big trend in 2014, according to EnergyTrend.
EnergyTrend says "Most of the countries switch their PV development focus to self-consumption or peak-electricity usage adjustment because subsidies have been cut or even cancelled in different regions. Meanwhile, residential systems have become more popular as the development of large-scale power plants starts to slow down in certain countries. Hence, energy-storage systems will definitely be another trend follows PV systems. In addition to lowering PV cost, energy-storage subsidy plans provided in Germany and Japan will bring new targets to the market."

As for Chinese manufacturers with the largest amount of module export, selling energy-storage systems with PV systems seems to be the best way for them to do business in Europe after signing the agreement of minimum price and volume limit with EU, as per EnergyTrend. For now, energy-storage volume in combination with residential systems is about 3kWh~7kWh. In fact, adding an energy-storage system may double the cost, however, with the support of subsidy and decreased battery price, cost for PV systems with energy storage may only be 1.3~1.7 times the original PV system price in 2014, says EnergyTrend.

On the trend of Mergers and acquisition EnergyTrend LDK handed over their equity to Tongwei and Shunfeng acquired Suntech. In the overseas markets, Solarworld took over Bosch Solar and Astronergy bought Conergy’s module factory.

The market researcher of EnergyTrend Huang indicates that what’s worth observing in 2014 is to see if there are companies that choose to exit from the market before completely waning because this is where market share will be affected substantially. EnergyTrend suggests with PV cost continuously declining, many large oil and grid companies begin to take PV energy into consideration once again. In 2014, there will be more energy companies re-allocating PV energy into their energy development roadmap and what PV companies have to do is to clarify who is the player with the most chips in the future energy market, as per EnergyTrend.

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