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EnergyTrend PVforum 2014: Distributed PV is Essential to Future Chinese Market Demands

21 May 2014 Energy TrendForce

EnergyTrend, green energy research division of TrendForce, and SNEC, the organizer of the world’s largest solar industry exhibition jointly hosted EnergyTrend PVforum 2014 at Kerry Hotel in Shanghai on May 21, 2014. EnergyTrend’s analysts offered in-depth analyses, covering important issues within PV and energy-storage industries. Below is the summarized content:

Distributed PV is an important future demand source for the Chinese market, will affect global supply chain development

Global PV installation continued to increase in 2014. Aside for large demands from utility-scale power plants and residential systems; expanding distributed PV systems, ranging from several thousand to a couple million watts, have also become an industry focus that is leading and motivating the foreign solar market. 

“Global PV demand is 46.6GW in 2014, in which, Chinese market has the fastest growth. In just two years, China’s demand increased from 1GW to more than 10GW to becoming the largest PV market in the world,” said Jason Huang, research manager of EnergyTrend. 

China is devoted to the development of distributed PV systems mainly to utilize solar power more efficiently. Solar plant power capacity in 18 pilot projects installed in 2013 amounted to 749MW and is expected to soar 243% to 1823MW in 2015. Although, China is still exploring promotion, construction, operation, and investment strategies for distributed PV systems, Huang noted distributed PV is still an important future demand source for the Chinese market. The system will also impact global PV supply chain development.

Wafer price will remain stable in 2Q14, while polysilicon oversupply may occur in 2H14

The recent demand spike is due to the postponement of the US-China anti-dumping and countervailing preliminary ruling to July 24, 2014. In addition, China increased shipment demands, while Japan’s shipments remained high, the Europe’s economy also recovered. Based on the uptrend of manufacturers’ monthly revenues, wafer prices will likely be stable in 2Q14.

“High-efficiency wafer price will remain at above US$ 1.0/piece in 2Q14, while mono-si wafer price, with relatively stable supply and demand, will fall between US$1.2-1.25/piece,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend. 

Looking into the future, new capacities of polysilicon and module will enter mass production stage in 2H14. In addition, various relevant policies will become clearer including the US-China anti-dumping and countervailing results, which might trigger polysilicon oversupply. Moreover, new market demand changes will also affect the price trend in 2H14.

CAGR of solar energy storage using lithium battery market will reach 75% from 2014 to 2020

As countries continue to promote energy policies related to sustainable development, energy-storage market demand has increased. “The general solar energy storage using lithium battery market will increase from 180mWh in 2014 to 5gWh in 2020, with a CAGR of 75%,” said Duff Lu, research manager of EnergyTrend.

Japan began issuing residential energy-storage system subsidies in 2011. It was the first sign of energy-storage systems entering the residential market, rather than for emergency industrial power. Later in 2014, Japan introduced another plan to raise energy-storage system subsidies by 60%. On the other hand, Germany’s electricity retail price is now higher than FiT, which has declined annually, leading to rising demand for autonomous energy-storage systems. The subsidy for energy-storage systems represented 30% of overall subsidies in 2013. Take a battery equipped with solar power capacity of 30kW for example, the battery subsidy would approximately amount to EUR 600/kW (equivalent to US$800/kW).

China established new energy power plants that have integrated wind, photovoltaic, energy storage systems to magnify the country’s lithium-ion battery advantages. “By promoting electric vehicles and energy storage systems, Chinese lithium battery industry might become another mainstream industry, following in the footsteps of IT,” added Lu.

EnergyTrend PVforum 2014 is sponsored by CHROMA ATE INC.

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