The major highlights listed by the report includes a diversified global reach and a customer base enlarged by 66 percent in 2017 thus far. The company's quarterly shipments grew by 19 percent year-over-year, of which those by REC EMEA accounted for the largest share, achieving its best third quarter ever. Meanwhile, Europe entered a new growth phase for PV with a potential 175,000 new jobs created in the industry by 2021. At COP23, it was acknowledged that ambitious climate targets require a significantly stronger demand for PV.
Globally, Q3 2017 has seen REC increase its shipments by 19 percent year-over-year, with a total of 329 MW, representing 9 percent growth compared to the previous quarter. The company continues to see strong demand for its products across all market segments and is actively diversifying its geographical reach as well as enlarging its customer base. This has led to 66 percent more customers in Q1-Q3 2017 compared to the same period last year.
The EMEA region accounted for the largest share in the company's shipments across all regions with 46 percent, leading to its best third quarter result ever. Quarter over quarter the region also experienced a strong performance with 23 percent growth. Germany saw the largest share of shipments making it again the top market in the region. Furthermore, REC Group has made a hugely successful entrance into the Turkish market, contributing to the extraordinary result.
APAC had a solid quarter with India being the top market due to a strong brand recognition for REC Group across all market segments despite the tough pricing environment. Australia also made a large contribution to the Q3 result in the region by serving successfully the distribution segment with long-standing partnerships. Japan saw a continuous solid demand from partner distributors in the Commercial & Industrial (C&I) as well as residential segment.
Thanks to its growing and diversified customer base, REC USA continues its upward trend in shipments with 25 percent growth over Q2 2017. This performance is influenced by the fact that REC is one of the top suppliers in each of the five largest residential solar PV markets in the US.
By continuously transitioning from pure government-based support schemes to market based instruments like auctions and tenders, REC Group expects Europe will return to PV growth in the years ahead. The main factors driving demand are auctions for large-scale PV and new business models via residential and commercial self-consumption. Established markets, such as Germany, France and The Netherlands, and new PV markets such as Turkey, Hungary and Ireland continue to drive the market growth.
The latest job study by Solar Power Europe, supported by REC Group, states that the EU could see 175,000 jobs in PV in 2021, a 115 percent increase compared to 2016. This could be a positive consequence of the new PV growth phase in Europe, mainly driven by the rooftop segment. Significantly more ambitious targets for renewable energies, which according to REC analysis are essential to reach the climate targets of the Paris Agreement, would lead to an even higher employment growth.
For Q4, REC Group expects sequential volume growth of 12 to 18 percent. Due to strong demand in all regions the company is nearly fully booked for Q4 2017. This trend will continue into the new year, as the order books for Q1 2018 are already filling up. REC Group will maintain the investment in its technology leadership and its competitive pricing model to make solar PV even more cost-efficient and a key pillar in mitigating climate change.
In its climate change study “Closing the COP21 Gap by Going Solar”, REC highlights that by 2025 up to 4.8 TW of PV capacity will be needed on top of estimations before COP21 to meet the climate goals. This capacity ramp-up is required to abate enough CO2 emissions to meet the 1.5°C temperature increase target of COP21.
“PV is a mature, affordable and quickly deployable technology, so it must be seen as a key pillar in response to the climate target of the Paris Agreement" said Steve O’Neil, CEO of REC Group. "Our analysis shows that its adoption is far from sufficient. There is a shortfall between renewable energy commitments and required emission reductions.”
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