In a recent report by Clean Energy Associates (CEA), it has been forecasted that Chinese solar panel prices will experience a significant drop of approximately 15% from the end of the fourth quarter of 2022 to the end of the fourth quarter of 2023. This price decline is primarily attributed to the booming capacity in the solar panel industry and a surge in polysilicon production.
The rapid expansion of panel production capacity is a key factor driving the drop in solar panel prices. Industry players have been actively increasing their production capabilities, with some companies even aiming to quadruple polysilicon production by the year 2027. As a result, the oversupply of polysilicon is causing its price to decline, leading to a cascading effect on solar panel prices.
One notable trend mentioned in the CEA report is the price discrepancy between solar panels equipped with TOPCon (Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact) technology and those utilizing PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Contact) technology. While the report suggests that TOPCon technology will remain at a higher price point compared to PERC technology from 2023 to 2024, the price gap between the two is expected to narrow significantly. New solar cell lines, however, need to be calibrated for TOPCon technology, which may restrict its growth and availability.
Despite the anticipated convergence in prices between TOPCon and PERC technology in the coming years, TOPCon is projected to become the standard for mainstream solar panels. As supply of TOPCon technology increases, PERC technology is likely to continue being offered at a lower cost, until eventually phasing out of the market. By early 2025, TOPCon single-sided solar panels are expected to be on par with PERC double-sided solar panels featuring 210mm cells in terms of value.
The surge in production capacity is expected to fuel a substantial increase in installations in the coming years. By 2027, global panel production is predicted to exceed a staggering 1000GW per year, with on-site installations reaching nearly 500GW. This is a significant jump compared to the estimated 800GW annual production and 300GW on-site installations in 2023.
A crucial driving force behind this capacity increase is the expansion of production equipment and the establishment of new factories. CEA’s report indicates that some companies may even double their panel production capacity, further amplifying the growth of the solar panel market. However, it is important to note that much of this production capacity will be concentrated in China.
CEA’s projections are founded on a robust analytical system developed to independently assess the solar panel market. The system takes into account global supply chains, forecasts for raw material price scenarios, technological advancements, production zones, target markets, and supply and demand trends.
The Chinese solar panel market is set to experience a significant price drop of around 15% by the end of 2023, as increased production capacity and a surplus of polysilicon continue to shape the industry landscape. The rise of TOPCon technology is expected to redefine the solar panel market, eventually becoming the standard choice for consumers. As the industry enters a phase of unprecedented growth, stakeholders will need to keep a close eye on these developments to adapt and thrive in this evolving market.
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