- Projected Surge in N-TOPCon Technology Adoption to Hit 40% by 2024
- Germany Achieves Over 80 GW in Solar Power Capacity
- Anticipated 20% Reduction in Solar LCOE Across Europe by 2023
- Italian €5.7 Billion Energy Community Initiative Receives European Commission Approval
Projected Surge in N-TOPCon Technology Adoption to Hit 40% by 2024
The new energy sector has seen remarkable growth in recent years, marked by the emergence of innovative technologies in the realms of photovoltaics (such as HJT, TOPCon, BC, and perovskite) and energy storage (including sodium-ion, solid-state, liquid flow, composite flow, and manganese iron phosphate).
In this pivotal phase of the new energy revolution, only a handful of technologies have successfully navigated challenges, gained industrial acceptance, and secured widespread market presence. N-type TOPCon technology is a notable exception, with its market penetration already exceeding 20% this year and anticipated to climb beyond 40% in the next year, positioning it as a leading technology.
While competing technologies grapple with various limitations and controversies, TOPCon is setting the pace. It's important to recognize that TOPCon differs from its predecessors, presenting higher entry barriers and greater differentiation, which influences the competitive dynamics.
With the decreasing cost of components, N-type solar panels, spearheaded by TOPCon, are gradually replacing P-type panels. Key industry players are channeling substantial investments into TOPCon, propelling its widespread adoption. In contrast, technologies like HJT and BC are struggling with cost reduction and market entry, while perovskite and other nascent technologies still await significant breakthroughs for mass industrialization.
In this era, the industry's focus has shifted more towards technological innovation than capital investment. TOPCon's enduring technological challenges foster differentiation and technological progress, making it a central arena for the evolution of photovoltaic cell technology.
As TOPCon emerges as the primary battleground with its elevated barriers, it is set to become a pivotal force in differentiating the photovoltaic sector. As solar cell technology continues to evolve and nears the theoretical efficiency limits of crystalline silicon, the competition increasingly hinges on subtle technological nuances. The high technological barriers of TOPCon are expected to intensify, influenced by factors like climb rate, yield rate, conversion efficiency, capacity utilization, and profit margin. With the expanding market size, its impact on the industry's structure is inevitable. TOPCon's technical challenges are substantial, creating significant distinctions among companies and poised to redefine the photovoltaic industry.
As the market expands, TOPCon's role will grow, reshaping the industry's framework and competitive landscape. The industry looks forward with eager anticipation.
Maysun Solar's N-TOPCon bifacial solar cells stand out for their exceptional conversion efficiency and reliability. These advanced cells are capable of generating power from both sides, optimizing energy collection even under challenging light conditions. Through rigorous quality control, they ensure consistent performance and minimal mismatch during encapsulation, guaranteeing smooth system functionality. These panels perform admirably in low-light environments, making them ideal for areas with fluctuating weather. Their reduced hot spot effect also enhances safety and longevity, positioning them as a reliable option for effective and sustainable solar energy solutions. Pictured below is the N-TOPCon 430W full black solar panel installed by a Maysun Solar client in Germany. Click the button below for more information on related products!
Germany's Solar Power Capacity Breaks 80 GW Threshold
Germany has marked a significant achievement in its solar energy sector by surpassing 80 GW in total solar power capacity. In a single month, November, the country added about 1.18 GW of new photovoltaic (PV) systems. Based on the latest data from the national network operator, Germany is on track to install upwards of 14 GW of PV capacity by the end of this year.
The Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) disclosed that Germany's new PV capacity for November reached 1,183 MW. This figure is slightly less than the 1,231 MW added in October but represents a substantial increase from the 675 MW installed in November of the previous year.
From January to November of this year, solar developers have connected a total of 13.18 GW of solar power to the grid. This figure is a notable jump from the 6.8 GW installed during the same period last year, bringing Germany's cumulative solar capacity to 80.74 GW by the end of November.
However, to achieve the national goal of 215 GW of solar capacity by 2030, Germany needs to quicken its pace, requiring an average monthly installation of 1.58 GW.
In November, the new capacity included nearly 413 MW from tender-selected projects and about 628 MW from rooftop PV systems under the feed-in tariff scheme or direct marketing. Ground-mounted projects contributed an additional 128 MW, with the rest coming from other types of systems.
Anticipated Solar LCOE in Europe to Drop by 20% by 2023
The past decade has seen a dramatic decrease in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. When adjusted for inflation, market prices for PV modules have plummeted by roughly 95% since 2011. PV has now reached price parity with retail and wholesale electricity in most countries.
The European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP-PV) recently released a comprehensive analysis of the PV market and pricing trends, including levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) projections from 2023 to 2050. These projections cover five European locations (Helsinki, Munich, Toulouse, Rome, and Malaga) and four PV system categories (residential 5 kW, commercial 50 kW, industrial 1 MW, and utility-scale 100 MW).
PV LCOE encompasses all costs involved in delivering PV-generated electricity to the grid connection point, including both capital (CAPEX) and operational (OPEX) expenses. OPEX covers costs and profit margins across the value chain, including financing, project development, manufacturing, installation, operation, and maintenance.
Historically, module prices have followed a learning curve, typically decreasing by about 25% with each doubling of global cumulative PV capacity. Future module price reductions are expected based on this historical learning rate (LR), driven by improved manufacturing processes, more efficient material use, and ongoing enhancements in module efficiency. The calculations also consider a 2% annual inflation rate, a 30-year system lifespan for rooftop installations (or 35 years for ground-mounted systems), and an annual degradation rate of 0.5% for all cases.
ETIP PV's base scenario predicts global cumulative PV capacity to rise from 1.5 TW at the end of 2023 to around 5.5 TW by 2030 and further to 30 TW by 2050.
OPEX for utility-scale PV is expected to fall from €12.5 ($13.6)/W/year at the end of 2023 to €9/kW/year by 2050. For rooftop solar, it's projected at €10/kW/year. CAPEX for utility-scale PV is likely to decrease from €0.46/W at the end of this year to €0.23/W by 2050. For residential, commercial, and industrial installations, prices could reach €0.81, €0.48, and €0.33, respectively. CAPEX is projected to halve across all sectors between January 2024 and 2050.
Compared to current values, the PV LCOE is expected to reduce by about 20% by 2030 and 50% by 2050. Utility-scale PV is already competitive in all countries compared to average wholesale electricity prices from 2019 to 2021, even with a nominal Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) rate above 10%. The 2022 energy crisis in Europe further enhanced PV's competitiveness due to elevated spot-market prices.
ETIP PV foresees a decline in LCOE for all locations, with significant reductions in Rome and Malaga. For instance, in Malaga, the LCOE for utility-scale PV, assuming a 7% nominal WACC, is projected to be €24/MWh in 2024, decreasing to €19/MWh by 2030 and €13/MWh by 2050. However, LCOE forecasts for all locations are highly positive, indicating that PV-generated electricity is already more cost-effective in all five locations across various WACC rates and consumer segments.
Image: European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV)
The figures above illustrate the PV LCOE for 100 MWp utility-scale PV in five European locations under different nominal WACCs, comparing them to the average spot market electricity price.
European Commission Approves €5.7 Billion Italian Energy Community Project
The European Commission has recently sanctioned a €5.7 billion scheme designed to bolster energy communities in Italy. Current data from the Polytechnic University of Milan indicates that Italy is home to 104 energy communities, a number projected to rise to 191 considering ongoing projects. The report highlights that municipalities spearhead 44% of these energy communities, with private entities leading the rest. Notably, over 70% of these communities operate systems with capacities under 200 kW, exclusively using photovoltaic energy sources. This initiative aims to support the growth of small-scale renewable energy ventures and the creation of new projects, each not exceeding 1 MW, as detailed in a recent press release.
The initiative is structured around two primary funding mechanisms:
The first segment, allocated €3.5 billion, introduces a 20-year tariff system. This system is tailored for the electricity consumption of self-consumers and renewable energy communities, funded through a levy on all consumers' electricity bills. A renewable energy community, in this context, is a legal entity enabling citizens, small businesses, and local authorities to produce, manage, and consume their electricity.
- The second segment, with €2.2 billion in funding, offers investment grants that can cover up to 40% of a project's total cost. These projects must be situated in municipalities with populations not exceeding 5,000 and need to be operational by June 30, 2026.
- The funding for this second segment is derived from the €723.8 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The RRF is a strategic tool established by the European Commission to strengthen the European Union (EU) post the Covid-19 pandemic.
This funding allocation aligns with the European Commission's approval of Italy’s Recovery and Resilience Plan on July 31, 2021. This plan earmarked an €11.2 billion investment for enhancing Italy’s renewable energy technologies, circular economy efforts, water waste management systems, and more.
Maysun Solar has been dedicated to manufacturing top-tier photovoltaic modules since 2008. Explore our extensive range of solar panels, including full black, black frame, silver, and glass-glass options, all incorporating cutting-edge technologies such as half-cut, MBB, IBC, HJT, and Shingled. These panels are designed for superior performance and boast stylish aesthetics that seamlessly integrate with any architectural setting. Maysun Solar has successfully established offices, warehouses, and enduring partnerships with skilled installers across numerous countries. For the latest module quotations or any inquiries related to photovoltaics, please feel free to reach out. We are eager to assist you in harnessing the power of solar energy.
TOPCon Leading the Transformation of the Photovoltaic Industry – GUANGFU.BJX.COM.CN. (n.d.). https://guangfu.bjx.com.cn/news/20231225/1352106.shtml
Morandotti, A. S. a. L. (2023, November 27). EU Commission approves €5.7 billion Italian scheme for energy communities. Pv Magazine International. https://www.pv-magazine.com/2023/11/27/eu-commission-approves-e5-7-billion-italian-scheme-for-energy-communities/
Solar LCOE may decrease by up to 20% in Europe by 2030. (2023, December 14). Pv Magazine International. https://www.pv-magazine.com/2023/12/14/solar-lcoe-may-decrease-by-up-to-20-in-europe-by-2030/
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