Greece’s solar panel market, reflecting challenging sector conditions that have emerged throughout Europe, faces severe shortages and price increases of between 15 and 20 percent, compared to just a few weeks ago.
The challenging situation has led to major project delays. Investors holding purchase agreements for PV equipment are being delayed by weeks for their order arrivals, while others still working on agreements cannot find suppliers offering anything better than delivery by May, 2021, at the earliest.
Some buyers requiring just small orders of solar panels have been lucky enough to land agreements as a result of order cancellations and other irregularities, but, in general, the shortage is prevalent.
Though the adverse conditions are impacting all PV investors, small-scale players are particularly feeling the pinch as they face deadlines to secure tariffs through non-competitive administrative decisions. Making matters worse, the energy ministry has indicated it will reduce non-auction tariff prices.
Pundits have attributed the shortage of PV panels to a significant increase in the number of installations at an international level, including China, nowadays virtually the world’s only producer of solar panels.
Chinese officials have announced a plan to aim for the installment of 65 GW of PV systems, annually, over a five-year period beginning in 2021.
Quite clearly, current PV panel production levels cannot meet global demand. This squeeze is expected to continue until at least the end of the first half of 2021.
Demand for glass has increased as bifacial PV panels now dominate the market, but the pharmaceutical industry, also absorbing large quantities of glass, has priority amid the pandemic.
The sharp increase in the demand for glass has prompted a price increase, for this material, of as much as 71 percent.