- CEA’s report sees additional polysilicon capacity coming online by the end of 2022, pushing prices downward from 2023 and continue through the year
- By the end of 222, more than 285 GW of available polysilicon capacity is expected to be online and will suffice global installations of around 244 GW
- Even though countries like India are expanding their manufacturing capacity, both India and Europe are likely to remain import dependent till 2025
North American solar PV and storage quality assurance and supply chain management firm Clean Energy Associates (CEA) sees polysilicon prices to drop throughout 2023 as more than 285 GW of available capacity is expected to be online by the end of this year which will be sufficient for anticipated global installations of around 244 GW in 2022.
In its quarterly PV Price Forecasting Report Q2 2022, CEA counts Chinese polysilicon production capacity to have added up to more than 340,000 tons or 126 GW+ in H1/2022, and non-Chinese suppliers supply another 25,000 tons or 9 GW+.
According to the report writers, polysilicon prices are expected to remain in the mid-$30/kg range for large-scale polysilicon buyers until the end of 2022, with the first declines in pricing anticipated in Q1 2023 as the post-market rush in China, coupled with more polysilicon expansion, should tip the polysilicon market on the path toward oversupply.
The analysts see the expected drop in polysilicon prices to be ‘steeper’ if the Chinese government decides to go ahead with its intention to intervene to meet the country’s renewable installation targets.
Moving beyond polysilicon, China will continue to be the world’s largest supplier of ingot and wafers as only 13 GW of this production capacity is expected to be located outside China by the end of 2022, most of it in Southeast Asia.
“Inside China, rapid expansions in ingot and wafer manufacturing from industry mainstays such as Zhonghuan and industry entrants such as Gaojing have created additional competition for polysilicon with more suppliers needed to move polysilicon materials into strategic inventories, and the limited volume of unbooked capacity over the next few years as contributed to polysilicon’s high price,” reads the report.
As governments elsewhere see the potential in having their own vertically integrated supply chain for solar PV technology, gradually there will be more production facilities emerging outside China. India, for instance, has over 12 GW ingot and wafer capacities planned to come up over next several years.
As for cell and module capacity, the analysts anticipate limited growth in this market due to potential anti-dumping and countervailing duties on US destinated cells and modules. Here again India emerges as a high-growth market as it is likely to report 36 GW cell and 52.6 GW module production capacity as commissioned by 2025.
Nonetheless, both India and Europe will remain ‘import-dependent’ until 2025 as new capacities take time to come online, while the US installations deal with ongoing policy headwinds ‘with ongoing detentions of imported products creating supplier delivery backlogs and the temporary threat of new antidumping and countervailing duties causing short-term procurement and delivery disruptions’.
The report can be purchased at CEA’s website.
Recently US based Rethink Energy also predicted global polysilicon prices to start coming down from 2023 while expecting overcapacity in the coming decade (see Polysilicon Prices To Fall ‘Steeply’ By 2023-Start).