ITRPV’s 14th Edition: PERC Continues To Dominate

295 GW Record Global Solar PV Modules Shipped In 2022; TOPCon To Account For 60% Market Share In 2033

ITRPV’s 14th Edition: PERC Continues To Dominate

VDMA says the price experience curve shows a 24.4% learning rate between 1976 and 2022, having increased from 24.1% in the 13th edition. (Source: VDMA)

  • ITRPV’s 14th edition counts 295 GW solar modules to have been shipped in 2022
  • While PERC dominated, TOPCon is likely to account for 60% and SHJ 19% of market share in 2033
  • N-type remains expensive with its higher silver use compared to p-type PERC, which the industry needs to bring down
  • N-type mono-Si wafer materials currently account for 15% market share which will increase to about 65% in 2033

There were a record 295 GW solar PV modules shipped in 2022 globally thanks to an improved supply of polysilicon and logistics costs coming down, taking its cumulative installed capacity to over 1.198 TW, according to the 14th edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV), published by Germany’s VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment Sector Group.

While PERC remains the proverbial working horse of the global PV industry, in 2022 new cell and module production capacities were seen as shifting from PERC to n-type based tunneling oxide passivated contacts (TOPCon) and silicon heterojunction (SHJ), all equipped to roll out large format products.

The share of TOPCon and SHJ in 2033 will reach 60% and 19% respectively while that of back contact cells will be 5%, according to the report writers.

Jointly prepared by 61 international players in the solar PV value chain along with research institutes and consultants, the latest edition says crystalline silicon (c-Si) cell and PV module production capacity at the end of 2022 increased to 600 GW.

The share of c-Si remains strong at 95% and that for thin-film technologies 5%, which is expected to remain so in the near future.

Even as n-type gains traction, the technology also has a higher silver consumption than p-type PERC as it is used as part of metallization on both front and entire rear side. “Nevertheless, TOPCon in mass production by tier I manufacturers in China is reported to be end of 2022 on lower consumption levels 2 to 5 years ahead of our production,” the report adds.

In 2022, PV industry consumed about 10% of global silver supply, but if the industry wants to bring down costs, it needs to continuously think of ways to reduce its consumption, reads the report.

According to the analysts, there was a price reduction for all c-Si based products with weighted average spot market price for c-Si modules at the end of 2022 dropped annually by about 7%, but on YoY rate, the price reduction is 14%. Price premiums for high-power, bifacial and n-type modules are marginal.

Larger wafer formats expanded module output to over 600W in 2022, and these also promise PV system overall cost reduction. Companies were also seen to further expand larger wafer formats while also increasing cell efficiencies. M6 wafer sized modules should completely ‘disappear’ from the market in 2023, as per the report.

Mono-Si wafers had a 97% market share last year, while the market share of current n-type mono-Si wafer materials is 15% that’s likely to move up to about 65% in 2033.

By 2025, the market will be dominated by gallium doped p-type materials.

Formats equal to or larger than 182mm or M10 already dominate the market, whereas panels larger than 210mm or G12 are expected to be manufactured from 2025 with a projected market share of 6% in 2033.

Analysts also believe copper wires are likely to stay put with their dominant market share for cell-to-cell interconnection and interconnection of strings as copper ribbons continue to lose market share.

Graph here shows the price development of mono-Si modules from December 2017 to December 2022 as published in the ITRPV 14th edition. (VDMA)

The report reads, “Within the next 10 years, overlapping interconnection technologies and structured foils will gain market share to about 6% and 8% respectively.”

 According to ITRPV, further improvements in all fields should increase the efficiency of mainstream p-type mono-Si based modules from 21.4% today to 22.75% in the next decade, while that of n-type modules including SHJ currently close to 22.5% efficiency is likely to increase up to 24% during the same time.

Tandem cell space is also growing as silicon based tandem cells and modules are expected to enter mass production by around 2027 with module efficiencies reaching 26%.

Most new cell fabs established after 2026 will likely have an annual production capacity of over 5 GW to benefit from economies of scale, but those with capacity below 2 GW will largely cater to specific applications and/or geographical regions. Ditto for module fabs.

Authors explain, “The price experience curve (i.e., average PV module sales price as a function of cumulative shipments) shows a 24.4% learning rate, calculated between 1976 up to 2022. This clearly shows that the price learning continuous which in turn increases the cost-competitiveness of the PV technology.” It increased fro, 24.1% in the 13th edition.

Complete ITRPV 14th edition is available on VDMA’s website for free download.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.

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