Global PV Manufacturing Tracking and Market Trends
Recently, consulting firm Clean Energy Associates (CEA) updated its new quarterly PV Supplier Market Intelligence, which describes the current quarter’s global solar supply chain in terms of capacity growth, distribution, and technology.
Looking first at polysilicon, global polysilicon capacity is expected to reach 295GW by the end of 2022 as six new plants ramp up their capacity this quarter, according to new research data.
CEA forecasts that polysilicon capacity will soar to 536GW by the end of 2023, assuming all projects under construction are developed as planned.
This expected increase will come on the heels of a sustained rise in polysilicon prices this year, which has been driven in part by power rationing and silicon shortages in China. However, a study published by CEA in August said polysilicon prices will fall throughout 2023 as capacity comes online on a large scale.
In its 《PV Supplier Market Intelligence for the second quarter of 2022》, CEA expects PV capacity to far exceed global PV development expectations for next year.
The report shows that global ingot capacity grew by nearly 30GW in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2022, mainly due to JinkoSolar coming online with 20GW of capacity in China’s Qinghai province, while wafer capacity declined, mainly due to GCL abandoning most of its polysilicon wafer capacity.
While non-Chinese ingot capacity is limited, this is expected to expand slightly as JinkoSolar’s 7GW plant in Vietnam continues to ramp up, and JA Tech and Longi start construction of ingot and wafer plants in Vietnam and Malaysia, respectively.
In terms of cell capacity, the capacity of the 17 PV companies covered in the report rose to 262GW in the second quarter of 2022 and is expected to jump to nearly 329GW by the end of this year, with China dominating the growth.
As suppliers are encouraged to expand in Southeast Asia to hedge against lingering risks from U.S. “forced labor laws” and Chinese manufacturing tariffs, Longi, JinkoSolar, JA Tech and others may come online with about 7GW of cell capacity in the region, CEA said.
Meanwhile, global module capacity exceeded 324GW in the second quarter of 2022 and is expected to reach nearly 400GW by the end of this year, an increase of about 20% over current capacity.
Beyond China, Global PV Manufacturing Capacity Tracking
Of interest to PV Tech is that the study also covers PV manufacturing supply chain capacity outside of China.
According to the report, outside of China, the suppliers it covers are currently running 11GW of ingot capacity, 42GW of cell capacity and nearly 50GW of module capacity, and these suppliers plan to increase these capacities to 23GW, 73GW and 74GW respectively.
It is worth noting that almost all suppliers have realized their non-Chinese upgrade plans for larger wafer sizes. Only a few suppliers moving to 210mm need more time to finalize expansion plans due to the need to purchase more expensive equipment or upgrade equipment.
Only four suppliers in the CEA report are operating or planning to operate non-China ingot and wafer capacity. The study notes that some U.S. manufacturers are expanding capacity on the back of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S., but less than 20 percent of the new announcements include North American ingot or wafer capacity.
For Europe, the CEA says the political benefits of decoupling from China’s PV supply chain could hinder future trade, but given Europe’s current lack of PV capacity and the urgency of transitioning to replace Russian fossil fuels, decoupling from China’s PV supply chain is unlikely to happen in the near term.