- ITRPV’s 12th edition sees a growing preference for larger wafer format modules, but for 210mm analysts believe more development work is required
- C-Si products hold 95% and thin-film technologies 5% market share as the market shifts to mono c-Si
- For c-Si modules, the weighted average price dropped by about 10% on annual basis in 2020
German engineering federation VDMA in its 12th edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV) finds larger wafer format of 182mm and 210mm being ‘particularly favored’ as these help bring down the overall PV system costs, yet in terms of readiness level related to the throughputs of cell production of 210mm wafer size, more development work is required in the future.
Analysts find that in comparison, the throughputs across all process steps for 166mm and 182mm sizes are analogous across all process steps. Larger formats led to products with increased power output of 500W or more making their presence felt last year as module makers invested in the upgrade of existing production lines to enable larger wafer format modules.
“The price experience curve continued with its historic learning and the learning rate (LR) increase to 23.8%,” points out the report. “The PV industry can keep up the LR up over the next years by continuing the linking of cost reduction measures with the implementation of cell perfections, with improved wafer material, improved cell front and rear sides, refined layouts, introduction of bifacial cell concepts, improved module technologies as well as with the introduction of new cell technologies.”
The latest ITRPV counts more than 300 GW of c-Si cell and PV module production capacity globally at the end of 2020 thanks to continued PERC capacity expansion enabling shipment of 135 GW DC PV modules last year, while 128 GW DC was installed.
Analysts believe c-Si continues to account for a global market share of about 95%, leaving remaining 5% share for thin-film technologies. It notes that c-Si module market shifted to monocrystalline silicon or c-Si, even as newer module products were introduced based on M6 (166mm), M10 (182mm) and M12 (210mm) wafer formats, along with an increased deployment of bifacial solar modules.
In terms of cost, price decline of monocrystalline silicon or mc-Si products increased but their market share dropped to 20%. For c-Si modules, the weighted average price dropped by about 10% on annual basis.
In the next 10 years, the analysts expect the following changes one can expect in the global PV technology market:
- Today’s mainstream p-type mono-Si based modules will see their efficiency going up to 22.2%, from 20% now.
- N-type modules including heterojunction (HJT) have highest power efficiencies of around 21% today, and will increase to around 23%.
- Si-based tandem cells and modules will be in mass production in around 2023, starting with module efficiencies of 22.5%.
- Combination of reduce manufacturing costs and increased cell and module performance will support efforts to bring down PV system costs, ensuring long-term competitiveness of PV power generation.
The 12th edition is available on VDMA’s website. The federation said it plans to start collecting data for the 13th edition of the ITRPV towards the end of 2021.
The analysts had updated the 11th edition of ITRPV in October 2020 to add that 166mm and 210mm wafer sizes are becoming the norm and from 2022 onward, 182mm wafer size will also become a popular choice (see VDMA Adds Updates To 11th Edition Of ITRPV).
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