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"Despite PV module demand shrinking 17 percent in 2009, so much cell manufacturing equipment was ordered and installed over the past year that capacity is still expected to grow 56 percent this year," said Charles Annis, VP of manufacturing research at DisplaySearch and author of the report. "With demand and capacity moving in different directions, the PV industry is currently experiencing an enormous over-supply that is causing rapid price erosion and potentially setting the stage for the failure of multiple cell manufacturers, particularly companies pursuing a-Si thin film solar cells. The PV industry will begin working through this excess capacity as demand recovers next year and takes off in 2011 and beyond."
Through 2006, Japan had the largest solar cell production capacity in the world. However, China companies started to ramp up a host of new facilities in 2005 and by 2007 had more solar cell capacity on-line than any other country. China has continued to invest heavily in production facilities, about a third of the worldwide cell capacity in 2009 and is forecast to be the main region for cell production well into the future.
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