Polysilicon Glut & Cheaper Photo voltaic Panels?


Rethink Vitality UK is predicting a glut of polysilicon resulting in a fall within the worth of the principle element of photo voltaic cells by 2023. 

Nineteen Chinese language firms are increasing capability so as to produce hundreds of thousands of tons “the almost definitely final result is one other decade of overcapacity and costs bumping alongside at marginal manufacturing prices.” In keeping with lead analyst Andries Wantenaar, costs for polysilicon and therefore photo voltaic modules will proceed to rise throughout 2022 as provide continues to run in need of demand. Nonetheless, then, provide will leap forward once more as new factories go browsing and costs will drop.

“From January 2023 this can start to vary. Costs will enter a relentless decline as new factories come on-line throughout China’s periphery. Polysilicon manufacturing capability will rise from 800,000 tons right now, to 1.1 million tons by the tip of 2022, then to between 1.4 million and 1.7 million tons by the tip of 2023.

“Wafer thicknesses are being considerably lowered — the swap from 175-micrometer to 155-micrometer means a 12.9% discount in polysilicon per watt, which explains why the above graph has the height polysilicon worth in late 2022 by the height module worth in late 2021. The polysilicon factories are being run at a really excessive capability issue of 97%, no less than whereas costs are excessive. Mixed with the very immediate commissioning of latest amenities, we estimate that 216 GW’s price of polysilicon can be produced within the first half of 2023, up from 125 GW within the first half of 2022. Meaning the polysilicon provide may have principally caught up with photo voltaic demand and the remainder of the provision chain.”

Module costs are virtually solely guided by polysilicon worth. As polysilicon manufacturing will increase, module costs are anticipated to drop. Though the disruptive pandemic shutdowns have affected output, they haven’t led to any important worth will increase of non-polysilicon components equivalent to glass, backsheets, silver paste, and many others.

Some Western polysilicon manufacturing capability is being introduced again on-line, however it could not survive with out tariff safety and incentives equivalent to these included within the Biden administration’s Inflation Discount Act. If China’s photo voltaic panels turn into absolutely excluded for the US, the EU, or different international locations, then India and Indonesia could possibly export to Western wafer factories.

LONGi (the world’s greatest wafer maker) expects that 1,000 GW might be manufactured globally every year by 2030. Rethink Vitality predicts that “Earlier than lengthy manufacturing photo voltaic panels can be overtaken by grid integration as essentially the most urgent constraint on the power transition.”

Featured graph courtesy of Rethink Vitality.


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