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Strong Potential of Clean Photovoltaic Development, Technological Progress Being the First Priority of Industry Transformation and Upgrading

Release time:2016-03-07 Print Font size:TT

Editor's note: When the global warming and environmental deterioration have become the pain of economic development, the global climate agreement United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reached by 195 contracting parties in the Climate Change Conference in Paris, France on December 12 in the last year has established strong defense line to cope with global climate change. While the global climate agreement aimed at the reduction of carbon emission defines the key problems in emission reduction and emission limitation of developed and developing countries, it is bound to cause a new change in the pattern of the world economy. As a big country of energy production and consumption, China is deliberate when coping with the global climate change through strengthening low carbon economy. 


Strong Potential of Clean Photovoltaic Development

Technological Progress Being the First Priority of Industry Transformation and Upgrading


The development of clean energy and establishment of clean development mechanism with Chinese characteristics are the fundamental standpoints for China to cope with the global climate change. Since 2007, as the main force of clean energy-new energy of China has developed with irresistible force. Especially the new energy represented by solar energy and wind energy has gradually entered into the market-oriented track with healthy development under the support of national energy policies. 


“From putting both ends of the production process on the world market to the front rank of shipping of materials and cell components.” Photovoltaic people always like using this simple sentence to describe the great changes in the industry over the past ten years. In 2020, with the overall start-up of global actions coping with climate change, the layout of China's new energy industry and sustainable development potential of the industry will directly affect the future world economic pattern. For five years, China's photovoltaic industry is not pleased with itself, but to seize every minute.


Brilliant achievements in the past ten years


“By 2030, China's carbon emission will reach the peak.” In order to fulfill the commitments made by China to the world at the Paris conference. On February 17, National Development and Reform Commission issued the decision that our country would accelerate the promotion of the construction of national carbon trading market to establish the perfect initial allocation system of carbon emission permit and strive to start the national carbon emission trading market comprehensively in 2017.


Actively construct low-carbon energy system and low-carbon industrial system, vigorously develop renewable energy, optimize the industrial structure and vigorously develop service industry and strategic emerging industries. The industrial layout is the solid foundation for the establishment of perfect initial allocation system of carbon emission.


In recent years, the development tendency of China's renewable energy is good, especially the achievements in photovoltaic industry is remarkable. According to the data issued by China Photovoltaic Industry Association, in 2015, the output of polycrystalline silicon was about 165000 tons with the year-on-year growth of 21%; the output of solar cell components was about 43 gigawatts with the year-on-year growth of 20.8%; the new PV installed capacity was about 15 gigawatts with the year-on-year growth of 42% and the accumulated installed capacity reached 43 gigawatts. 


The reputation of the first big country in the manufacturing of photovoltaic products for continuous nine years cannot meet the high-level requirements of industrial development. The transformation of internal photovoltaic industry from simply emphasizing on productivity advantage to paying attention to the lean and efficient development in 2015 has become the biggest highlight in the industry.


Driven by the progress in technology, the industrialization efficiency of monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells reached 20% and 18.1% respectively; in the production cost, the cost of single crystal is lower than that of polycrystal. 


“In 2015, as China's photovoltaic industry is driven by the international and domestic markets, the capacity utilization rate of photovoltaic enterprises has been improved effectively, the industry scale is increasing stably, technical level is making progress constantly and the profit rate of enterprises has increased. With the guidance of strategy of ‘One Belt One Road’ and the influence of international trade protection situation, the ‘Going-out’ pace of photovoltaic enterprises is accelerating.” Secretary General of China Photovoltaic Industry Association Wang Bohua made the above evaluation on the industrial development.


In the past ten years, the unremitting efforts of several generations of PV people have responded to the skeptical voice to the PV industry. In 2016, the market to the application of domestic photovoltaic generation system is expanded with steady tendency. On December 29, 2015, National Energy Administration published in 2016 National Energy Working Conference that the newly installed capacity of photovoltaic generation in 2016 is over 15 million kilowatts. Newly installed capacity indexes “seeking improvement in stability” have confirmed again that improving quality and efficiency became the keynote of the annual development.


Technological breakthrough in five years


The construction of big logic of energy development is required for economic development under the new normal and regarding the energy technology innovation as the core is the foundation of the above logic. On February 18, National Energy Administration held the expert forum named Innovation Action Plan of Energy Technology Revolution (2016-2030) in Beijing, taking the energy technology innovation to a new height. 


technological innovation is the way of survival of the photovoltaic industry. The incoming of energy revolution also has brought opportunities for photovoltaic industry which is based on the technology. The opportunity and challenge always coexist with each other. “Compared with developed countries, China’s photovoltaic industry has gap in the aspects of advanced materials and technologies.” The Vice Chairman of Chinese Renewable Energy Society Meng Xiangan told this to the reporter.


In 2015, the“Top Runner Program” specific to the situation that our photovoltaic manufacturing level should be improved urgently started timely. The“Top Runner Program” is intended to stimulate the market demand for efficient products, promote the technological upgrading of enterprises and improve the product quality and the implementation of these three objectives has provided a model for the transformation and upgrading of photovoltaic manufacturing industry. At present, the “Top Runner Program” has achieved initial success. Following the implementation of “Top Runner Program” in Datong, the program will be implemented in Datong, Baotou, Jining, Yangquan and other gigawatt bases this year.


China Photovoltaic Industry Association predicts that under the driving of “Top Runner Program”, the conversion efficiency of industrially produced polycrystalline silicon cell will reach 18.5% in 2016 and that of monocrystalline silicon cell is expected to reach 21%, and the power of mainstream component products will reach 280 watt in the second half of the year. 


The return of single crystal makes the market release the single of increase demand for efficient products. At the same time, upon the promotion of monocrystalline products, the combined effect and efficiency of monocrystalline products are affirmed generally by the industry. According to the information, the domestic photovoltaic newly installed capacity in 2015 was 15 gigawatts, of which, the installed capacity using monocrystalline cell components was more than 2.5 gigawatts, accounting for more than 15%. The year-on-year growth of newly single crystal installed capacity was 400%. 


The interim executive director of LERRI Solar Technology Co., Ltd. Li Wenxue told the reporter that: “The monocrystalline silicon cell is the representative of efficient photovoltaic products. Before and after 2015, the return of monocrystalline silicon cell to the China’s market is an inherent demand of domestic photovoltaic industry for efficient and lean upgrading. In order to speed up the process of the transformation and upgrading of the photovoltaic industry, Xi’an LONGi Silicon Materials Corp. has reflected the advantages of single crystal in the cost of photovoltaic power stations.”


According to the information, the price spread between monocrystalline component and polycrystalline component is about 0.1 yuan/watt and the power in the unit area of monocrystalline component is 6%~8% higher. If the same costs are invested in the construction of power station, the monocrystalline cell components will provide at least 5% of the stable generated energy more than that of polycrystalline components for the investor and the internal rate of return on capital will increase by about 15%.


The experts predict that in the next 5 years, the cost of monocrystalline silicon wafer and efficiency of monocrystalline cell component will have lot of room for improvement. Under the support of favorable financing conditions, the monocrystalline technology will make the cost of photovoltaic generation reduce to about 0.3 yuan after 5 years.


According to the information, in 2016, the cost advantage of monocrystalline component will be realized. By the end of this year, it is expected that the production capacity of monocrystalline silicon wafer of Xi'an LONGi Silicon Materials Corp. will reach 7.5 gigawatts and that of monocrystalline component of LERRI Solar Technology Co., Ltd. will reach 5 gigawatts. By 2017, the capacity of monocrystalline silicon wafer will expand to 12 gigawatts and that of monocrystalline component will reach 6.5 gigawatts.


Article source: China Electric Power News