Research and analysis of the whole photovoltaic industry chain in 2022

· PV Industry News

Photovoltaic industry chain: the price difference between upstream and downstream is serious, and the price of photovoltaic silicon material will remain high in 2021


According to the price data released by PV Infolink, the overall price of the photovoltaic industry chain will show an upward trend in 2021, but the price increases in different links are quite different. Since March 2021, the price of photovoltaic silicon materials has gradually increased, and the price of dense materials has risen from 83,000 yuan/ton at the beginning of the year to 230,000 yuan/ton on December 29, an increase of 177%. The price increase of solar silicon wafer ranks second, reaching 54%, while the price increase of solar cells and photovoltaic modules in the same period is only 13%. The price increase of photovoltaic silicon material is obviously higher than that of other links.


Photovoltaic silicon material: supply and demand remain tight, prices remain high


At present, major photovoltaic silicon manufacturers such as China's GCL, Daqo, etc. have full production expansion plans. It is expected that the global polysilicon production capacity will reach 1.319 million tons by the end of 2022. However, due to the expansion cycle and capacity ramping factors, it is difficult for new projects to be fully put into operation in 2022. According to a completely ideal ramping situation, the global effective production capacity in 2022 is estimated to be 900,000 tons, and the effective production capacity of photovoltaic silicon materials in 2022 will be able to support single crystal. The upper limit of PV wafer capacity is about 270GW. However, considering the actual supply of photovoltaic silicon materials and the impact of the production rhythm, the price of photovoltaic silicon materials may continue to remain high after the release of downstream demand.


Photovoltaic silicon material: the cost advantage of leading production expansion is obvious, and the performance is expected to grow rapidly


In view of the long expansion cycle of photovoltaic silicon materials, the planned production capacity in 22 years is difficult to be fully implemented. It is expected that photovoltaic silicon materials will maintain a tight balance in 22 years, and there is limited room for price reduction. At the same time, China Tongwei, Daqo and other leading photovoltaic silicon materials have a significant cost advantage in expanding production. The total cost is more than 20% lower than that of second and third-tier manufacturers, and the cost of new production lines is lower. In 2022, the photovoltaic silicon material is still in short supply, and the release will be accelerated.


Solar wafers: manufacturers' expansion plans are full, and gross profit margins will decline


According to incomplete statistics, by the end of 2021, the total production capacity of photovoltaic silicon wafer manufacturers in the market will be at least 350GW, and the expanded production capacity that year will be close to 140GW. Although the production capacity of photovoltaic silicon wafers in 2021 will be significantly more than that of photovoltaic silicon materials, due to the limited supply of photovoltaic silicon materials and the production inventory income, the overall gross profit margin of the photovoltaic silicon wafer industry in 2021 will be relatively high. However, in 2022, as the new expansion projects of photovoltaic silicon wafers are gradually put into operation, the production capacity of silicon wafers is expected to reach 509GW by the end of the year, and its supply will be looser than that of silicon materials, and the high gross profit will decline.


Solar cells: The competitive landscape is relatively fragmented, and the gap between first- and second-tier manufacturers is rapidly widening


The current competitive landscape of the solar cell industry is relatively scattered. In 2020, the total production capacity of CR5 companies will account for 53%. Although there has been a trend of concentration in recent years, the industry concentration is still lower than that of other links in the industry chain. In 2021, affected by the squeeze at both ends of the upstream and downstream, the profitability of solar cells will decline. Some second- and third-tier companies have low operating rates due to difficulty in obtaining solar silicon wafers, and some companies choose to stop production. The first-tier solar cell manufacturers have relatively high operating rates due to their strong supply chain management capabilities and cost advantages, but their overall profitability is still poor.


Photovoltaic modules: new technology promises to further reduce the cost of electricity


As photovoltaic modules gradually approach the limit size of 210mm+, further increasing the size may lead to problems such as increased deformation of photovoltaic modules during mechanical load testing, decreased extreme temperature resistance, and increased transportation difficulty. Therefore, N-type cells with higher conversion efficiency limit are developed. Technology becomes necessary. According to the calculation of system value and LCOE released by DNV GL, an independent photovoltaic testing agency in the United States in February 2021, taking a typical photovoltaic power station project in Japan as an example, when the size of photovoltaic modules remains unchanged, increasing the power of photovoltaic modules can effectively reduce BOS and LCOE costs . Among them, for 210mm photovoltaic modules, when the power is increased from 545W to 600W, the BOS cost and LCOE cost will be reduced by 0.7 and 0.5pct respectively.


Inverter: China's inverter shipments are growing steadily, and overseas market share is expected to increase


According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of China, from 2017 to October 2021, the number and value of China's inverter exports showed a steady growth trend. According to the rankings of global inverter shipments published by Wood Mackenzie over the years, China's Huawei and Sungrow have been in the top two for many years. At the same time, since 2017, Chinese companies have been pouring into CR10 manufacturers. Inverter rookies such as Neng Electric are catching up quickly, and in the future, there is hope to increase overseas market share by virtue of cost and price advantages.


Glass: Demand for thin glass continues to grow, high-quality companies will benefit


According to PV Infolink statistics, the penetration rate of bifacial photovoltaic modules has increased rapidly in recent years, and the market share is likely to reach half in 2024. Considering that bifacial photovoltaic modules often require lighter and thinner glass, the demand for thin glass will continue to grow in the future. In addition, while the large base project and BIPV are also increasing the demand for glass, they require the glass to be thinner, more light-transmitting, and have the advantages of being beautiful. Therefore, we expect Follett, Xinyi, Almaden, etc. to have the High-quality manufacturers with ultra-thin glass processing capabilities will benefit in the long run.


Adhesive film: EVA particles have a long expansion cycle, and the supply is relatively short


Photovoltaic-grade EVA particles are the main raw material for photovoltaic films. From September 2021, due to the impact of the dual energy consumption control and power rationing policy, the operating rate of EVA particle manufacturers has declined, driving the price of particles to rise sharply. After October 2021, as the impact of power curtailment gradually weakens, the price of EVA particles begins to decrease. Photovoltaic grade EVA is the main raw material for film. At present, only three companies in China, namely Sierbang, Lianhong and Ningbo Formosa Plastics, can supply them in batches, and there are problems such as long production expansion cycle and high production barriers. It usually takes 3 years from start to production. above time. It is estimated that if 226GW of new photovoltaic capacity is installed in 2022, and the capacity ratio is 1.2, the corresponding demand for EVA particles will be about 1.083 million tons, and the production capacity of photovoltaic-grade EVA particles in 2022 is expected to be 1.0245 million tons. Therefore, it is estimated that In 2022, EVA particles will remain relatively scarce.


Brackets: The large base project is launched, and the penetration rate of tracking brackets will increase


Tracking brackets are mainly used in centralized ground power stations. Compared with fixed brackets, they can provide a certain power generation gain, thereby improving the profitability of the power generation system. Since 2015, the global penetration rate of tracking stents has increased rapidly. It is expected that the market will account for about 53% in 2022, and the market size will reach 3.156 billion US dollars. However, the penetration rate of tracking stents in the Chinese market is still low. According to CPIA statistics, the penetration rate of tracking stents in China in 2019 was only 16%, and there is still much room for improvement in the future. Under the trend of rising electricity prices, in order to obtain more power generation gains, the owners will be less sensitive to the price of brackets, which will help track the increase in the penetration rate of brackets.

The photovoltaic industry, which is constantly catalyzed by policies, has entered the golden track


Carbon neutrality has become a global consensus


At present, green and low-carbon development has become a global consensus. According to statistics from the Energy and Climate Think Tank (ECIU), as of October 2021, 132 countries and regions around the world have proposed carbon neutrality goals. Among them, Suriname and Bhutan have achieved carbon neutrality, 13 countries including Germany have enacted carbon neutrality legislation, the EU and 3 other countries have proposed legislation, and 53 countries have officially announced the timing of carbon neutrality.


Photovoltaic power generation is highly competitive and is the main force to achieve carbon neutrality


Renewable energy mainly includes photovoltaics, wind power, hydropower, nuclear power and biomass. Among them, hydropower and biomass have limited development potential, and nuclear power cannot be widely used due to geographical and safety factors. Therefore, among all kinds of renewable power sources, only photovoltaic and wind power have great potential and are suitable for large-scale development.


Globally, many countries have issued incentive policies for various renewable power sources including photovoltaics, mainly including three types: electricity price subsidies, electricity offsets, and investment subsidies. The main purpose is to promote renewable energy power generation. proportion.


Short-term demand outlook: global new installed capacity is expected to reach 226GW in 2022


On the whole, it is expected that the new installed capacity of photovoltaics in the world will reach 226GW in 2022, of which major markets such as China, Europe, and the United States will grow significantly in 2022, and other high-potential regions such as India and the Middle East are also expected to bring increments.