Ranking of solar cell shipments in 2021 According to InfoLink’s research, Tongwei and Aixu still maintain the leading positions in this ranking. The successive manufacturers are the same as last year, with Runyang, Zhongyu and Lu’an next in the ranking.
Looking back at 2021, driven by price increases at the source of the supply chain, the solar cell segment will continue to be squeezed by silicon wafers and both ends of downstream modules, and the monocrystalline PERC cell production capacity is severely overcapacity, and solar cell manufacturers can only hold on to meager profits. In the second half of the year, vertically integrated manufacturers have continued to launch new solar cell production lines, and their self-sufficiency rate has continued to increase. The market share of professional cell manufacturers is gradually being divided up, and the growth rate has begun to shrink. Observing from the InfoLink database, the annual growth rate of the top five professional cell factories in 2020 will reach 81%, while the annual growth rate of shipments will be reduced to 36% in 2021, which proves that under the active expansion of vertically integrated factories, the growth rate of professional solar cell Sales continued to be squeezed.
In terms of size, according to the data of the top three cells (including single and polycrystalline), the share of G1 (158.75mm) declined rapidly in the second half of the year, and the share of the whole year was about 10%, while the power of M6 (166mm) was affected by China’s energy consumption in the third quarter. Affected by the reduction in operating rate, most of the associated manufacturers chose to produce large-size products, and the output began to decrease. There is still about 32% of the annual share, while the proportion of large-size M10 (182mm) and G12 (210mm) size shipments has reached 53% or more. Distinguishing the observation in the first and second half of the year, corresponding to the 38% share in the first half of the year, the share in the second half of the year came to 67%, an increase of 29%.
In general, under the sluggish profit in 2021, in addition to reducing the operating rate of the solar cell segment, the release time of new production capacity will also be adjusted, and the release of new capacity expansion in Q2-Q3 will be slowed down to the end of the year. In the first half of the year, it was indeed observed that the old production lines, G1 and below cell capacity began to be phased out.
Looking forward to 2022, it should be noted that the cell production line will have plans to change and upgrade in the first half of the year. Considering the limitations of manufacturers’ equipment changes, if the production line before 2019 was retrofitted, the capital expenditure would be huge, and the yield and efficiency would be high. For the downside risk, most solar cell production lines choose to transform the “newer” M6 production line into M10, and the expected completion time is mostly concentrated in the first half of 2022.
In addition, the living space of professional solar cell manufacturers continues to disappear. Vertically integrated manufacturers can use their own solar cell production capacity to suppress the profit of the cell side. Therefore, considering the low and peak seasons, the operating rate may only maintain 60-70% throughout the year. In addition to researching high-end differentiated products, professional solar cell manufacturers will continue to expand upstream and downstream supply chains or alliance cooperation.