Chinese solar PV capacity additions in 2021 are likely to settle anywhere between 55 GW to 65 GW, according to the CPIA that sees auctioned PV projects postponed in 2020 to contribute about 10 GW to the numbers.
- CPIA forecasts China to install 55 GW to 65 GW of new solar PV capacity in 2021
- It will comprise 10 GW of projects auctioned but pushed for completion in 2021, among other contributors
- China’s total installed PV capacity till the end of 2020 reached 253 GW
- CPIA sees high power products dominating market in 2021, expecting 156.75mm sized silicon wafers to become obsolete
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The China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) has offered a forecast of between 55 GW to 65 GW of new solar PV capacity addition for China in 2021, after the Asian giant closed 2020 with 48.2 GW installed – comprising a whopping 29.5 GW expected to have been added during Q4/2020 (see China Installed 48.2 GW Solar PV Capacity In 2020).
According to the CPIA, of this forecasted 55 GW to 65 GW in 2021, auctioned projects pushed back to 2021 should amount to 10 GW. Another 15 GW should come from residential rooftop solar, some 10 GW from commercial and industrial (C&I) capacity and around 20 GW to 30 GW from ground mounted solar.
CPIA’s estimates ride on the country’s carbon neutrality goal which it wants to achieve before 2060 that’s sure to push the administration to target more renewables in its total power generation mix. Soon after declaring the carbon neutrality goal for the country, Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to achieving more than 1,200 GW installed solar and wind power capacity by 2030 (see China Aims For Over 1,200 GW Wind & Solar Power By 2030).
According to the National Energy Administration (NEA), China’s cumulative installed solar PV capacity till the end of 2020 reached 253 GW with the year 2020 adding 48.2 GW in the form of 32.68 GW of large scale ground mounted solar and 15.52 GW of distributed PV.
CPIA on supply chain
Going deeper into the supply chain statistics of Chinese PV manufacturing industry, CPIA said in 2020 Chinese manufacturers produced:
- 392,000 tons of polysilicon, growing by 14.6% YoY,
- 161.3 GW silicon wafers, growing by 19.7% YoY,
- 134.8 GW solar cells, growing by 22.2% YoY,
- 124.6 GW solar modules, growing by 26.4% YoY
China exported $19.75 billion worth of PV products in 2020, even though it was a decline of 5% compared to 2019. Of these, it exported $1.77 billion worth of silicon wafers adding up to 27 GW, $990 million of solar cells accounting for some 9 GW, 78.8 GW of modules exported were worth about $16.99 billion. Exports of the latter rose 18.3% YoY, a record high according to the CPIA.
Going forward, the CPIA sees high power products enter a stage of rapid mass production in 2021 expecting market share of 182mm and 210mm silicon wafer products to reach about 50% with more products with higher output to be introduced quickly in the market. In comparison, market share of 158.75mm size will drop down to 5% while 156.75mm sized silicon wafers will ‘become history’.
As the market continues to face imminent shortage of critical raw materials, CPIA argues that companies will be needed to pay more attention to supply chain and the ability to control it will directly determine a company’s output and revenue in the near future.