German wholesaler sees »biggest supply crisis ever« in PV market

Kai Lippert, founder and managing director of EWS GmbH & Co KG

»The PV market is experiencing the biggest demand boom and at the same time the biggest supply crisis ever.« In a message to its customers, systems supplier EWS GmbH & Co. KG from Handewitt, Germany, today prepared for »tightened rules of the game in the PV market.« In it, Managing Director Kai Lippert describes the »currently very difficult framework conditions«. The planning reliability is extremely limited, because even the suppliers of EWS often do not know themselves how things will go on.
There are delivery problems with almost all PV manufacturers. Postponements, cancellations and price increases even for confirmed deliveries are becoming more frequent. Wholesalers are no longer in a position to cushion this for customers. Accepting new orders on the basis of speculation would only make the situation worse.
Among the best courses of action for EWS and its customers, Lippert sees »coordination on all affected projects, whether confirmed or new,« as well as »concentration or switching to freely available, comparable components.« This is because »the most sought-after device series from Fronius, SMA and Kostal are unfortunately practically sold out until well into next year.« China is taking advantage of the dependence of European inverter and storage manufacturers on certain components in power electronics to gain market access in Europe for the major Chinese inverter brands, Lippert says. Quite pragmatically, he nevertheless advises his customers to be flexible, i.e. to also give new suppliers a chance when the usual house brands are sold out. »Anyone who doesn't show flexibility in this situation will miss the boat on a demand trend the likes of which the PV industry has never seen before.«

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