- BloombergNEF forecasts 228 GW DC of new solar PV capacity to be built in 2022 from within the range of 204 GW DC to 252 GW DC
- As polysilicon supply crunch eases with factory debottlenecking and new lines coming online, analysts expect overall module price reduction in H2/2022
- Driven by residential and C&I segments, China’s solar PV capacity addition in 2022 may range between 81 GW to 92 GW
- The world has around 10 GW of TOPCon and HJT production capacity to be built this year
Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF) have increased their solar capacity forecast for 2022 to reach about 228 GW DC in the mid scenario within a range of 204 GW DC to 252 GW DC. They expect 183 GW DC to have been added most likely in 2021, within the range of 171 GW DC to 199 GW DC.
The forecast for 2021 could be in for a revision as the analysts believe the year could possibly be the 1st 200 GW DC solar year for the world. Their argument? “Prices would not have remained as high as they had in 4Q 2021 if solar modules were not going somewhere.”
The forecast for 2021 could be in for a revision as the analysts believe the year could possibly be the 1st 200 GW solar year for the world. Their argument? “Prices would not have remained as high as they had in 4Q 2021 if solar modules were not going somewhere.”
Nonetheless, prices are set to come down after module costs went up as high as $27.8 cents per W for monofacial 166mm wafer size monocrystalline silicon. Silicon price has already started coming down from $37 per kg in October 2021, to $32 per kg in December 2021. Analysts count it to further come down to $20 per kg to $25 per kg in H2/2022, and with 182mm and 210mm become mainstream, expect another $1.00 cent per W reduction.
In 2022, as 39% more polysilicon is produced globally as new lines ramp up and factory debottlenecking is done, the supply crunch will ease as it will be enough to produce almost 300 GW of silicon solar products. Overall, module prices will likely hover around $23.00 cent per W to $24.00 cent per W in the 2nd half.
Among markets, China will continue to be the largest with a record 81 GW to 92 GW coming online this year, driven by 20 GW residential PV installation, backed by local governments. Commercial and industrial (C&I) solar will also experience a boom as companies try to skirt high electricity prices. With the government expected to exempt renewable energy production from being counted in total power rationing to meet the country’s carbon emissions, C&I solar could add more than 10 GW in 2022.
BloombergNEF’s China estimate comes after a local industry association China Electricity Council recently said the country could be looking at adding over 90 GW new PV in 2022 (see Over 90 GW New Solar In China In 2022?).
Currently, the world hosts more than 400 GW of annual passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) cell production capacity which will continue to remain mainstream for next 2 or 3 years more. As the current PERC structure approaches efficiency limit of around 24%, there is 10 GW of annual tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) and heterojunction (HJT) capacity scheduled to be built in 2022.
TOPCon is likely to score over HJT as it is most cost effective considering current PERC equipment can be adapted to produce TOPCon. These technologies could become economically competitive as current large cell and integrated module makers enter the fray.
Recently TaiyangNews held a Special Focus Webinar on TOPCon Solar Modules with JinkoSolar explaining why it is investing heavily into the new cell technology.
Speaking of production, outside of China the analysts expect India and the US to host fabs at economies of scale but are not sure if these can commence production at a large scale within 2022.
The market intelligence firm also expects solar auctions to become more complex and involve storage, and sees agrivoltaics to be ‘properly understood for commercial purposes’.
Recently, the market research firm released its annual corporate power purchase agreements (PPA) data for 2021 claiming that the clean energy capacity contracted last year amounted to 31.1 GW (see Over 31 GW Corporate Clean Energy PPAs In 2021). In 2022, BloombergNEF said more such contracts will be executed specially in Spain, Poland, Denmark and Germany.