Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Solar PV Seminar Held in Beijing: Retrospect and Prospect

“The symphony of opportunities and challenges is the main theme of China’s photovoltaic industry in 2023,” noted Wang Bohua, Honorary Chairman of China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA), in his keynote address at the Photovoltaic Industry 2023 Development Retrospect and 2024 Situation Prospect Seminar hosted by the CPIA on February 28.

Titled retrospect and prospect, the seminar demonstrated the overall development of China’s PV industry in the past year, as well as possible trends for the new year in extenso.

“In 2023, China’s polysilicons, silicon wafers, cells, and modules output have all grown by more than 64% year-on-year. Simultaneously, our PV newly installed capacity was 216.88 GW, which is a year-on-year leap of 148.1%. Speak of exports, the export volume of wafers, cells, and modules in 2023 increased by 93.6%, 65.5%, and 37.9% respectively year-on-year,” the Chairman first stated the huge accomplishments. “Overall, our PV application market has achieved unexpected development in 2023, exceeding the predictions of almost all insiders at home and abroad. As of 2023, our cumulative installed PV capacity has reached 609.5GW.”

Wang Bohua, Honorary Chairman of CPIA [Photo/CPIA]

“However, blind optimism means the prelude of failure. What we also need to distinguish is that in the same year, the output value of domestic PV manufacturing (excluding inverters) has exceeded RMB 1.75 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 17.1%, which has slowed down significantly compared with 100% in 2022. Moreover, corresponding to the growth in export volume, the total export values (silicon wafers, cells, and modules) was approximately USD 48.48 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 5.4%. It could be said that the shuffle has begun. Survival of the fittest is accelerating. All parties need to assess the situation to take advantage of the trend.”

Players are all in position. What’s the next move? “The PV industry maintains mushrooming, and a consensus has been reached that global renewable energy installed capacity will triple in 2030.” Wang predicted that under conservative circumstances, global new photovoltaic installed capacity in 2024 will be the same as last year, reaching about 390GW. Optimistically, it could reach 430GW.

As to China, the association forecasted new PV capacity addition of 190-220 gigawatts (GW) this year, with consumption and demand for solar energy projected to remain high and steady in the coming years. “With continuous breakthroughs in PV technology and more diversified export market, renewable energy generation is predicted to play a dominant role in the power generation landscape by 2030.”

Wang Jixue, Deputy Chief Engineer of China EPPEI [Photo/CPIA]

Another guest, Wang Jixue, Deputy Chief Engineer of China Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute (EPPEI), echoed the view. “In 2022, He Lifeng, then Director of the National Development and Reform Commission, announced that the country would plan to build a 450-million-kilowatt wind & photovoltaic base in the desert region. Currently, multiple projects have been planned and completed, and each project has been confirmed 12 million kilowatts of new energy installed capacity (mainly photovoltaic).”

“The development prospects of domestic large-scale new energy bases are promising, consequentially. It is expected that the proportion of new energy installed capacity will exceed 50% in 2040, and the proportion of new energy power generation will exceed 50% in 2060,” Wang noted. “On the other hand, the efficiency of new energy power generation is undergoing rapid leapfrogging. The module efficiency of PV power generation has increased by nearly 60% in a decade.”

More than 100 countries reached an agreement at the COP28 conference that in 2030, global installed renewable energy capacity will triple to at least 11,000GW; specifically, by 2030, PV installed capacity will increase from 1055GW in 2022 to 5457GW in 2030. According to the CPIA, by 2027, the global cumulative installed capacity of PV will surpass coal thus become the largest in the globe. Undoubtedly, such huge production capacity requires a sound mechanism to achieve reasonable consumption. “Last year, our country’s cumulative household PV capacity reached 118 million kilowatts, which means the prospects for distributed PV in rural areas are impressive. Only by developing both centralized and distributed systems could we achieve c carbon peak and neutrality target,” said Li Qionghui, Dept. of Renewable Generator Director at State Grid Energy Research Institute.

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