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Development Status and Prospects of the Global Photovoltaic Industry Chain

In 2022, under the background of the “dual carbon” goal, the world is in an important stage of energy structure transformation. The superimposed conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to lead to high fossil energy prices. Countries pay more attention to renewable energy, and the photovoltaic market is booming. This article will introduce the current situation and prospects of the global photovoltaic market from four aspects: first, the development of the photovoltaic industry in the world and key countries/regions; second, the export trade of photovoltaic industry chain products; third, the forecast of the development trend of the photovoltaic industry in 2023 ; The fourth is the analysis of the development situation of the photovoltaic industry in the medium and long term.

Development situation

1.The global photovoltaic industry has high development potential, supporting the demand for products in the photovoltaic industry chain to remain high.

2. China’s photovoltaic products have the advantages of industrial chain linkage, and their exports are highly competitive.

3. Photovoltaic core devices are developing in the direction of high efficiency, low energy consumption, and low cost. The conversion efficiency of batteries is the key technical element to break through the bottleneck of the photovoltaic industry.

4. Need to pay attention to the risk of international competition. While the global photovoltaic application market maintains strong demand, the international competition in the photovoltaic manufacturing industry is increasingly intensified.

The development of photovoltaic industry in the world and key countries/regions

From the perspective of the manufacturing end of the photovoltaic industry chain, in the whole year of 2022, driven by the demand of the application market, the production scale of the manufacturing end of the global photovoltaic industry chain will continue to expand. According to the latest data released by the China Photovoltaic Industry Association in February 2023, the global installed capacity of photovoltaics is expected to be 230 GW in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 35.3%, which will drive further expansion of the manufacturing capacity of the photovoltaic industry chain. In the whole year of 2022, China will produce a total of 806,000 tons of photovoltaic polysilicon, an increase of 59% year-on-year. According to the industry’s calculation of the conversion ratio between polysilicon and modules, China’s available polysilicon corresponding to module production will be about 332.5 GW in 2022, an increase from 2021. 82.9%.

Prediction of the development trend of photovoltaic industry in 2023

The trend of opening high and going high continued throughout the year. Although the first quarter is usually the off-season for installations in Europe and China, recently, the new polysilicon production capacity has been continuously released, resulting in a downward price in the industrial chain, effectively alleviating downstream cost pressure, and stimulating the release of installed capacity. At the same time, overseas PV demand is expected to continue the trend of “off-season” in January from February to March. According to the feedback of head module companies, the trend of module production after the Spring Festival is clear, with an average month-on-month increase of 10%-20% in February, and a further increase in March. Starting from the second and third quarters, as supply chain prices continue to decline, it is expected that demand will continue to rise, and until the end of the year, there will be another large-scale grid connection tide, driving the installed capacity in the fourth quarter to reach the peak of the year.Industrial competition is becoming more and more intense. In 2023, the intervention or impact of geopolitics, big country games, climate change and other factors on the entire industrial chain and supply chain will continue, and the competition in the international photovoltaic industry will become more and more fierce. From a product point of view, enterprises increase the research and development of efficient products, which is the main starting point for improving the global competitiveness of photovoltaic products; From the perspective of industrial layout, the trend of the future photovoltaic industry supply chain from centralized to decentralized and diversified is becoming more and more obvious, and it is necessary to scientifically and rationally layout overseas industrial chains and overseas markets according to different market characteristics and policy situations, which is a necessary means for enterprises to enhance global competitiveness and reduce market risks.

The development situation of the photovoltaic industry in the medium and long term

The global photovoltaic industry has high development potential, supporting the demand for photovoltaic industry chain products to remain high. From a global perspective, the transformation of the energy structure to diversification, clean and low-carbon is an irreversible trend, and governments actively encourage enterprises to develop the solar photovoltaic industry. In the context of energy transition, coupled with the favorable factors of the decline in photovoltaic power generation costs brought about by technological progress, in the medium term, overseas photovoltaic installed capacity demand will continue to maintain a high prosperity. According to the forecast of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, the global new photovoltaic installed capacity will be 280-330 GW in 2023 and 324-386 GW in 2025, supporting the demand for photovoltaic industry chain products to remain high. After 2025, considering the factors of market consumption and supply and demand matching, there may be a certain overcapacity of global photovoltaic products.China’s photovoltaic products have the advantage of industrial chain linkage, and exports have high competitiveness. China’s photovoltaic industry has the world’s most complete photovoltaic industry supply chain advantages, complete industrial support, upstream and downstream linkage effect, capacity and output advantages are obvious, which is the basis for supporting product exports. At the same time, China’s photovoltaic industry continues to innovate and leads the world in technological advantages, laying the foundation for seizing international market opportunities. In addition, digital technology and intelligent technology have accelerated the digital transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry and greatly improved production efficiency.Photovoltaic core devices are developing in the direction of high efficiency, low energy consumption and low cost, and cell conversion efficiency is the key technical element for the photovoltaic industry to break through the bottleneck. Under the premise of balancing cost and efficiency, once the battery technology with high conversion performance breaks through to mass production, it will quickly occupy the market and eliminate low-end production capacity. The product chain and supply chain balance between the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain will also be reconstructed. At present, crystalline silicon cells are still the mainstream technology of the photovoltaic industry, which also constitutes the high consumption of upstream raw materials silicon, and is considered to be the third generation of high-efficiency thin-film batteries representative perovskite thin-film batteries in energy saving, environmental protection, design application, raw material consumption and other aspects have significant advantages, the technology is still in the laboratory stage, once the technological breakthrough is achieved, the replacement of crystalline silicon cells becomes the mainstream technology, the bottleneck constraint of upstream raw materials in the industrial chain will be broken.Attention needs to be paid to international competition risks. While maintaining strong demand in the global photovoltaic application market, the international competition in photovoltaic manufacturing industry is intensifying. Some countries are actively planning the localization of production and manufacturing and supply chain localization in the photovoltaic industry, and the development of new energy manufacturing has been elevated to the government level, and there are goals, measures and steps. For example, the US Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 plans to invest $30 billion in production tax credits to promote the processing of solar panels and key products in the United States; The EU plans to achieve the goal of 100 GW of complete PV industry chain by 2030; India announced the National Plan for Efficient Solar PV Modules, which aims to increase local manufacturing and reduce import dependence on renewable energy. At the same time some  countries have introduced measures to restrict the import of China’s photovoltaic products out of their own interests, which has a certain impact on China’s photovoltaic product exports.

from: Chinese enterprises integrate new energy.

Post time: May-12-2023