This year will usher in a new growth phase for the global PV supply chain, as the industry recovers from the overcapacity-induced downturn of the last few years, according to findings from PV Pulse, GTM Research’s newest upstream data service. Driven by strong end-market growth out of China, Japan and the U.S., the 50 largest PV module suppliers alone will add more than 10 gigawatts in manufacturing capacity in 2014, with similar expansions expected for producers of polysilicon, wafers and cells.

Source: GTM Research PV Pulse

"Conditions in the global PV supply chain are shifting rapidly toward a new growth phase for the industry," said Shyam Mehta, Lead Upstream Analyst at GTM Research. "In contrast to the profitless prosperity of 2011-2013, 2014 will see PV module vendors and their suppliers not only enjoy growth in sales and shipment volumes, but also achieve strong bottom-line profitability as well, with supply constraints leading to major capacity expansions across the PV value chain that will continue into 2015.”

While established Chinese incumbents such as JinkoSolar and Yingli Solar will expand capacity primarily through mergers and acquisitions of their weaker Chinese peers, GTM Research expects new capacity spending to take place for facilities based in other regions, such as Taiwan and Malaysia, along with a slew of greenfield module facilities in end markets such as Brazil, South Africa and Japan.

Additional key findings from the April 2014 PV Pulse:

  • Polysilicon prices will rise by 25 percent in 2014
  • 83,000 metric tons of polysilicon capacity will be added in 2014 and 2015
  • Japan and China will account for 57 percent of module shipments in 2014
  • Global PV module production will increase by 19 percent in 2014 and 20 percent in 2015 to reach 64 gigawatts
  • Chinese module production costs to remain flat in 2014 and then decrease to $0.37 per watt by 2017

With trends in technology drivers, production costs, regional pricing and market share constantly evolving, PV Pulse is the resource today's solar suppliers need to capture business opportunities along the value chain.

For more on PV Pulse, please visit


Join Lead Upstream Analyst Shyam Mehta at this year's Solar Summit and listen in on his panel "The Module Market Landscape."