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2024 Photovoltaic Industry Outlook: Market Trends, Emerging Technologies, And Global Expansion

Views: 3006     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 01-18-2024      Origin: Site

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The global photovoltaic (PV) installation is expected to remain stable in 2024. 

In Europe, factors such as inventory clearance and a decline in electricity prices are anticipated to result in a steady growth rate in market demand for 2024.

Emerging regions like the Middle East and Africa show a strong demand for clean energy. The global PV installation is expected to grow at a rate of 15%-25% in 2024, reaching 425.5GW-462.5GW.

The industry is poised for restructuring, entering a new cycle after a period of consolidation. The rapid expansion of the industry from 2021 to 2023 has led to overcapacity risks in silicon materials, wafers, cells, and modules. Overcapacity in manufacturing will lead to depressed prices across the supply chain, putting pressure on profitability.

High-cost outdated capacity and financially weaker second and third-tier companies face greater operational challenges. The market penetration of TOPCon cells will rapidly increase, BC cell technology is gaining prominence, and perovskite cells are experiencing rapid development. The industry is entering a phase of eliminating outdated capacity, with companies competing based on overall strength.

China's export volume to overseas markets is increasing, but prices are decreasing, with distinct regional characteristics. From January to September 2023, China's cumulative export of PV modules reached 157.7GW, a 29.9% increase from the same period last year. The cumulative export value of solar cells in China was 2514.35 billion yuan, a 5.1% year-on-year growth. The main characteristic of PV product exports in 2023 is an increase in quantity and a decrease in price.

In terms of market distribution, in the first three quarters of 2023, the cumulative import volume in the European market was 85.3GW, a 25.8% year-on-year increase; the Asia-Pacific market imported 33.4GW of PV modules, exceeding the total for the entire 2022; the Americas imported 22GW of Chinese PV modules, a 14% year-on-year increase; the Middle East imported 10.3GW of PV modules, a 58% year-on-year increase; and Africa imported 6.6GW of PV modules. Europe showed significant shipping in the first half of the year, but inventory accumulation issues in the second half affected performance.


TOPCon cell conversion efficiency continues to improve, and BC technology gains traction.

TOPCon cell conversion efficiency continues to rise. TOPCon cells have advantages such as high theoretical conversion efficiency, low degradation, high bifaciality, and low temperature coefficient. The theoretical conversion efficiency of TOPCon cells is 28.7%, while PERC cells have a conversion efficiency of 24.5%, and HJT cells have a conversion efficiency of 29.2%.

In November 2023, JinkoSolar's wholly-owned subsidiary, Zhejiang JinkoSolar Co., Ltd., independently developed the 182N high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon cell (TOPCon), achieving a comprehensive area cell conversion efficiency of 26.89% according to third-party testing by the National Photovoltaic Industry Measurement Testing Center, setting a new record for the conversion efficiency of large-area N-type monocrystalline passivated contact (TOPCon) cells with sizes of 182 and above.

From a mass production perspective, in 2023, JinkoSolar's TOPCon cell mass production achieved a conversion efficiency of 25.6-25.7%, and the double-sided POLY pilot line efficiency reached 26%. Junda Corporation improved the mass production efficiency of TOPCon cells from around 25% to above 25.5% through the introduction of LPCVD double-plug technology and SE technology.

BC technology is gaining prominence, and leading companies make technology route choices. As a platform technology, IBC can be combined with P-type, HJT, TOPCON, forming HPBC, HBC, TBC. BC cells move grid lines to the back, avoiding the blockage of metal grid line electrodes, maximizing the use of incident light, reducing optical losses, and having a significant advantage in conversion efficiency.

Additionally, having no front grid lines gives BC cells a sleek, all-black appearance, enhancing aesthetics. However, BC cell technology has drawbacks, such as complex processing and higher production costs. In August 2023, LONGi Green Energy Technology stated in its interim performance briefing that BC cells would be the absolute mainstream of crystalline silicon cells, with a 2%-3% higher single-wattage electricity generation than TOPCon in Henan and Hebei regions, and a cell yield of 95%. BC cells, as potential high-efficiency products, have the ongoing potential for breakthroughs in production technology and costs.

In 2020 and 2021, China's PV installation growth rates reached 60.67% and 13.86%, respectively. During the same period, global PV installation demand increased by 13.04% and 30.77% year-on-year. After 2021, the PV industry chain expanded significantly, expectations for the industry's supply-demand pattern reversed, geopolitical conflicts in 2022 boosted demand in the European PV market, and trade policies accelerated the expectation of overseas manufacturers building their own industry chains. Furthermore, after 2022, the U.S. Federal Reserve continued to substantially raise interest rates.

According to the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022 released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global PV installation capacity is expected to reach 5200GW by 2030 and 14000GW by 2050, generating an annual demand for an additional 450GW in new installations. The industry has vast potential for growth.

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