Latest Updates in thePhotovoltaic Industry (June 2024)

· About Solar Panels,PV Industry News

Contents:

  1. Freight Expenses Approach Pre-Pandemic Levels, Impacting Solar Module Costs
  2. Electricity Prices Decline Across Most European Markets
  3. Austria Introduces "Made in Europe" Bonus for Photovoltaic Systems Over 35 Kilowatts
  4. First Solar Panels Connected in France in 1992 Still Produce 79.5% of Their Initial Power
  5. Siemens Installs Photovoltaic Parking and 60 Electric Charging Stations

 

Freight Expenses Approach Pre-Pandemic Levels, Impacting Solar Module Costs

Freight container shipping rates have soared to their highest levels since 2022, according to Xeneta, a prominent Norwegian platform specializing in ocean and freight rate benchmarking.

Xeneta reported that by the end of May, average spot rates from the Far East to the US West Coast were expected to climb to $5,170 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) by June 1st. This represents a significant 57% increase from May and the highest level in 640 days, surpassing the peak during the Red Sea crisis earlier this year. In June, spot rates on this route are projected to peak at $6,250/FEU, nearly matching the Red Sea crisis high of $6,260.

Similarly, spot rates on the Far East to North Europe trade route are anticipated to exceed the Red Sea crisis peak, reaching $5,280/FEU compared to $4,839/FEU on January 16th. This rate marks the highest in 596 days and signifies a 63% increase since April 29th.

On the Far East to Mediterranean trade route, Xeneta noted a similar trend, with spot rates expected to surpass the Red Sea crisis peak of $5,985/FEU, reaching $6,175/FEU. This increase of 46% from May represents the highest rates on this route in 610 days.

As freight costs typically make up about 4% of a solar panel's total expenses, the rise in spot rates is anticipated to affect PV module prices.

Xeneta attributed the market disruptions to ongoing conflicts in the Red Sea, port congestion, and shippers' efforts to accelerate imports ahead of the third quarter, traditionally the peak season. Despite the recent surge in spot rates, Peter Sand, Xeneta's chief analyst, noted a slightly slower rate of increase compared to May, indicating a potential easing of the situation.

However, Sand warned that shippers are already facing cargo delays, even for containers under recently signed long-term contracts. He emphasized that carriers prioritize shipments from those paying higher rates, leaving cargo from lower-rate contracts at risk of being left at ports, a scenario reminiscent of the challenges experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sand further explained that freight forwarders are encountering additional surcharges and are being forced to opt for premium services to secure shipping space, which results in higher costs for their shipper customers. He cautioned that carriers will continue to push for higher freight rates, potentially worsening the situation for shippers in the near future.

Freight Expenses Approach Pre-Pandemic Levels, Impacting Solar Module Costs

Electricity Prices Decline Across Most European Markets

According to an analysis by AleaSoft Energy Forecasting, average electricity prices fell in most major European markets during the last week of May.

Compared to the previous week, electricity prices decreased in the Belgian, British, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese markets. However, the Italian and Nordic markets saw price increases of 6.7% and 12%, respectively. The most notable decreases were observed in France, Spain, and Portugal, with drops of 56%, 59%, and 60%, respectively.

In the final week of May, weekly averages exceeded €55 ($59.82) per MWh in all markets except France, Spain, Portugal, and the Nordic countries. France recorded the lowest weekly price at €16.13 per MWh, while Italy reported the highest at €102.60 per MWh.

All analyzed markets, except the British and Italian markets, recorded at least one instance of negative electricity prices during the week. The Dutch market continued its streak of recording the lowest price for the sixth consecutive week, hitting -€81.00 per MWh on June 2nd between 15:00 and 16:00.

AleaSoft Energy Forecasting attributed the downward trend in electricity prices during the last week of May to increased wind energy production and reduced electricity demand in some markets. Additionally, higher solar production in the Iberian Peninsula contributed to price reductions in Portugal and Spain.

Looking ahead to the first week of June, AleaSoft forecasts a rise in electricity prices across most markets, driven by expected decreases in wind energy production and an anticipated increase in electricity demand in many markets.

While solar energy production decreased in most major markets during the final week of May, Germany saw the largest drop at 20%. In contrast, Portugal experienced a notable week-on-week increase of 9.5% and set a new daily record for photovoltaic energy production for the second consecutive week, reaching 21 GWh on May 27th.

AleaSoft predicts a decline in solar production in Spain and Italy during the first week of June, but forecasts an increase in Germany.