In 2019, when photovoltaic companies were driven by “cost reduction and efficiency increase” and tried every means to study technological innovation and product upgrades, they would never have imagined that not only technology but also price would have the greatest impact on the photovoltaic industry in the next two years.
In 2019, my country’s photovoltaic industry officially opened an era of parallel price parity. Under the theme of “Internet parity”, the photovoltaic industry has ushered in important changes. The photovoltaic market has successfully achieved a switch in the proportion of mono- and polycrystalline products, and the price per watt of mono-crystalline PERC modules has been successfully reduced. To below 2 yuan, the photovoltaic power station side has gradually stepped out of the shadow of “531”, and the installed capacity demand has begun to pick up.
However, the strange changes in the market are always in an instant. After the stable price reduction period in 2019, the photovoltaic industry chain has set off a “turbulent wave” of prices between 2020 and 2021.
Silicon material link: three waves of “price increase”
In the aspect of silicon materials, there have been three waves of “price increases” from 2020 to 2021.
Back to the beginning of 2020, the sudden and rapid spread of the new crown epidemic disrupted the production rhythm of the entire industry. Under the superposition of multiple factors such as domestic epidemic control, delays in workers returning to work, traffic restrictions, and the global epidemic going out of control in April, the photovoltaic industry has After experiencing the traditional off-season, it failed to turn hot, and the downstream market demand was sluggish. As shown in the figure above, before July 2020, the overall price of upstream silicon materials showed a trend of “stabilizing first and then decreasing”.
Entering July, the silicon material sector ushered in the first wave of “price increases”. On the one hand, the list of competitive parity projects in 2020 has been confirmed, which has aroused the enthusiasm for the installation of downstream photovoltaic power plants, and the market demand has continued to increase. In addition, the local epidemic counterattacked and the transportation of products was restricted, which exacerbated the situation of “in short supply” in the silicon material market. The “price increase button” was pressed in the silicon material link and began to rise sharply.
Until mid-September, the highest price of monocrystalline silicon material was close to 100 yuan/kg. Calculated based on the highest price of silicon material in September, single crystal re-feeding rose from 60.9 yuan/kg to 99.4 yuan/kg, an increase of 63.2%; single crystal dense material rose from 59 yuan/kg to 96.8 yuan/kg, an increase of 64%; The single crystal cauliflower material rose from 56 yuan/kg to 95.3 yuan/kg, an increase of 70.2%; the polycrystalline material rose from 32.5 yuan/kg to 68.6 yuan/kg, an increase of 111%, which doubled. In late September, with the resumption of normal operation of large silicon material factories in Xinjiang, the contradiction between supply and demand in the industrial chain gradually narrowed, and upstream silicon material prices began to stop rising and stabilize.
The second wave of “price increases” will appear in February 2021. On the one hand, the formulation of the “30·60” national strategic goal has forced the traditional power central state-owned enterprises to accelerate the energy transformation, and the demand for photovoltaic installations has exploded. In the environment of mismatch between supply and demand, large silicon wafer manufacturers have adopted the form of signing long orders to “lock materials” in advance. About 85% of the silicon materials have been divided up in advance, and the lack of goods to sell directly led to the skyrocketing market price of bulk orders. According to industry insiders, some companies even hoarded goods for sale in mid-May, and the “silicon shortage” situation in the market further intensified.
The third wave of “price surge” will occur in September 2021. In late September, as the scale of domestic power curtailment continued to expand, the number of provinces and autonomous regions that introduced power outages and power curtailment measures expanded to more than 20. Power curtailment measures were upgraded in the central and western regions, as well as in Yunnan, Sichuan and other major polysilicon and silicon wafer exporting regions. This made the small shortage of silicon material worse, and the price of polysilicon rose in vain, jumping from 220-250 yuan per kilogram at the end of September to 250-270 yuan per kilogram in early October. In the ultra-high price range, until December, due to the continuous sluggish demand in the downstream market, silicon wafer companies were trapped in the dilemma of “high inventory and low demand”, and they were not willing to purchase silicon materials, and the price of silicon materials finally loosened and lowered.
Silicon wafer link: two price “peaks”
In terms of silicon wafers, there are two small peaks in prices in 2020-2021, which occur in June and October 2021 respectively.
Considering the two-year silicon wafer price as a whole, as shown in the figure above, the price of the first half is relatively stable. In 2020, although the domestic silicon wafer price fluctuated from mid-April to mid-August due to the price of silicon material, the overall trend of small price reduction in 2019 continued.
Calculated at the price on December 31, 2020, polycrystalline silicon wafers dropped from RMB 1.56/piece at the beginning of the year to RMB 1.27/piece, a decrease of 18.6%; monocrystalline silicon wafer M2 was replaced by G1 and M6, among which, G1 silicon wafer decreased from RMB 3.31/piece The price of wafers dropped to 3.12 yuan/piece, a decrease of 5.7%; after the large-size silicon wafer M6 gradually became the mainstream silicon wafer, the price rose slightly from 2.87 yuan/piece to 3.22 yuan/piece, an increase of 12.2%. In December 2020, quotations for M10 and G12 silicon wafers began to appear in the market. At that time, the average price of M10 silicon wafers was 3.9 yuan/piece, and G12 silicon wafers were 5.48 yuan/piece.
It is worth noting that, with the continuous advancement of large-size and thin-film, and the upgrading of large-size photovoltaic equipment, the silicon wafer market has completed the transition from M2 to G1 and M6 wafer sizes in 2020.
Entering the second half, in 2021, subject to the relationship between the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain, the price of silicon materials will skyrocket, and silicon wafers will be under pressure. In late March, silicon wafers also entered the rhythm of price increases, and there will be two “peaks” in June and October. .
The first small peak came in early June. The reason is that in the first ten days of May, earthquakes occurred in Yunnan and Qinghai, which affected the production of single crystal rods in the western half, and the two major silicon material leaders had a greater impact. According to PVInfoLink statistics, the earthquake affected about 1GW of silicon wafer production in the world at that time. out. The most intuitive market reflection of the intensified shortage of silicon wafers is that the price of silicon wafers has been soaring. On June 2, the price of polycrystalline silicon wafers rose by 97% to 2.5 yuan/piece; G1 silicon wafers rose 57% to 4.91 yuan/piece, M6 silicon wafers rose 57% to 4.91 yuan/piece. Up 55.6% to 5.01 yuan / piece; M10, G12 silicon wafers rose 52%, 51.4% to 5.93 yuan / piece, 8.3 yuan / piece.
The second price peak occurred in October. In terms of polysilicon wafers, due to the short period of no punitive tariffs in the Indian market, the demand for polysilicon wafers has recovered and the unit price of polysilicon wafers has been maintained above 2.4 yuan per piece for a long time. In terms of monocrystalline silicon wafers, in addition to the price of silicon material under pressure, in the fourth quarter, silicon wafer companies were also limited by the dual control and double power reduction and production limit measures. The operating rate continued to be low, and the corresponding price was always high. The data shows that in October, the price of G1 silicon wafers rose to 5.67 yuan/piece, an increase of 15.5% from the first “peak” and an increase of 81.7% from the beginning of the year; the price of M6 silicon wafers rose to 5.75 yuan/piece, compared with the first peak. It was raised by 14.8%, up 78.6% from the beginning of the year; M10 rose to 6.87 yuan/piece, up 15.9% from the first peak, up 76% from the beginning of the year; G12 rose to 9.1 yuan/piece, up 9.6% from the first peak. Up 66% from the beginning of the year.
Cell link: Survive through the cracks
Under the dual pressure of silicon wafers and modules, cell companies are under the most severe pressure, which is reflected in the price level, but has become the link with the smallest price change in the photovoltaic industry chain between 2020 and 2021.
As shown in the figure above, in the first half of 2020, the price of solar cells continued to decrease, and in the second half of the year, the price of silicon wafers entered a stage of rising volatility.
From the end of May to the beginning of June 2021, the price of polycrystalline cells rose to the highest peak, with an average price of 0.859 yuan/piece. At that time, although the operating rate of India, the main demand market for polycrystalline silicon, was reduced due to the epidemic, the price of silicon materials remained at the highest level. The high price of polycrystalline cells is largely due to the transfer of costs.
The peak price of monocrystalline cells will appear in October 2021. The average price of 166mm and 210mm cells will be 1.12 yuan per cell, the average price of 182mm cells will reach 1.16 yuan per cell, and the average price of 158.75mm monocrystalline PERC cells will be as high as 1.12 yuan per cell. 1.18 yuan / piece.
Photovoltaic glass link: the trend of “a few” characters
The photovoltaic glass segment has experienced two “ji” trends between 2020 and 2021, which appear in the second half of 2020 and the second half of 2021 respectively.
Among them, 2020 is the most impressive. Due to the epidemic situation, some domestic photovoltaic glass production capacity will be cold repaired ahead of schedule in 2020, and some photovoltaic glass projects under construction will be delayed. In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has tightened the policy of photovoltaic glass production capacity replacement, which has also exacerbated the contradiction between photovoltaic glass supply and demand to a certain extent. thus. The average price of photovoltaic glass has soared to 43 yuan/m2 since the second half of 2020, and the highest price once exceeded 50 yuan/m2. “One piece is hard to find” has become the norm in the photovoltaic glass market in 2020.
In the second half of 2021, the slight increase in photovoltaic glass was driven by the price increase in the mid-to-upstream industry chain, and the average price was temporarily maintained at 30 yuan/㎡ and then slowly decreased.
solar panel price: return to the “2” erea
In the aspect of photovoltaic modules, the price point of view is concentrated in the fourth quarter of 2021. From January to September 2021, based on the impact of price transmission in the industry chain, although the price of modules has risen, it is still in a controllable range.
Entering the fourth quarter, in the face of the combined impact of various factors such as severe shortage of material supply, power outages and production shutdowns, module prices began to “run out of control”. In early October, module prices “vertical rises”, and the price of monocrystalline modules directly broke through 2 yuan/W. The data shows that compared with the low price peak period in July 2020, the average price of conventional monocrystalline modules rose to 2.03 yuan/W at the peak, an increase of 40%; the average price of 182 and 210 modules reached a maximum of 2.1 yuan/W, an increase of 26.5 yuan. %.
Hui Xing, chief engineer of the New Energy Engineering Institute and director of the Planning and Research Center of the Northwest Survey and Design Research Institute Co., Ltd., once said that when the price of components is around 1.9 yuan/W, such as the third-class areas in Hebei, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Anhui, it is not economical. Regions such as Hubei and Hunan are not economical when the module price is higher than 1.8 yuan. In 2021, the price of photovoltaic modules will rise. Although it is helpless, it does suppress the enthusiasm of downstream photovoltaic installations to a certain extent. Previously, the photovoltaic industry association had predicted that the newly installed photovoltaic capacity in my country in 2021 would be 55-65GW, and the subsequent reduction to 45-55GW. According to According to the latest data from the National Energy Administration, my country’s newly installed photovoltaic capacity in 2021 will be 53GW.
Looking forward to 2022, in terms of polysilicon prices, Lv Jinbiao, deputy director of the Expert Committee of the Silicon Industry Branch of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, predicts that demand determines the price. From the perspective of installed capacity demand in 2022, which is expected to break through 200GW, the supply and demand of polysilicon will be basically balanced in the first half of the year, and in the second half of 2022 The newly expanded capacity of traditional polysilicon enterprises headed by Tongwei, GCL, and Xinte Energy will be put into production intensively, and the tight balance between supply and demand will come to an end. In 2022, domestic and foreign polysilicon production will reach 820,000 tons, enough to support the downstream 220GW installed capacity demand. However, with the continuous release of production capacity in the future, the price of polysilicon may be reduced to 100,000 yuan / ton, but it will be unsustainable to continue to decline.
Regarding the downstream module segment, Zhang Xiaobin, executive vice president of Shandong Solar Energy Industry Association, said that with the release of new silicon material capacity in 2022, it is expected that the module price will gradually fall back to about 1.7 yuan / watt, but stimulated by high installed capacity expectations, It is unlikely that prices will continue to decline.
However, considering the overall industry chain, in addition to silicon materials, module prices are also affected by the prices of auxiliary materials, such as photovoltaic films. The industry expects that with the advent of the peak season of photovoltaic installed capacity demand, the demand for photovoltaic film resin will increase to about 1.24 million tons in 2022. However, the effective supply of photovoltaic film resin in 2021 will be about 1 million tons. Under the circumstance of limited effective supply, it is expected that In 2022, photovoltaic EVA resin will continue the tight supply and demand pattern, and the price reduction of plastic film may be small. As a result, it is still unknown whether photovoltaic modules will usher in price cuts in 2022.