Thanks to their high efficiency, the global capacity of bifacial PV cells will triple in five years, topping 21 GW by 2024, for 17% of the world’s total PV-cell capacity, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
According to the report, the installation capacity of bifacial PV cells will hit 5.42 GW in 2019, which will boost their accumulated amount to 8.2 GW.
A major reason for their rosy outlook is the announcement by the U.S. government in June to exempt them from the high tariffs of Section 201. The tariffs that were imposed under Section 201 had originally caused the cost of the U.S.’s bifacial PV-cell modules to become 40-50% higher than the ones that are currently being supplied in Europe and Australia.
With the help of the tariff’s exemption, it is estimated that the total installation volume of the US’s bifacial PV-cell modules will jump to 2 GW in 2020, before topping 7 GW by 2024.
With the recent rollout of the no-subsidy projects in China and the slashing of its subsidies, the growth rate of the bifacial PV-cell market in the country is likely to only reach 20% in 2019. China’s shrinking demands for these PV cells will be somewhat offset by the emerging demands from the Middle East countries like Oman and the United Arab Emirates. As of this year, the former of the two has already rolled out two major bifacial PV-cell power stations which total 920 MW in capacity, according to the Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables report.
As a number of regions in Latin America and North Africa have also started to launch their own large-scale PV power projects, they are also likely to embrace bifacial modules for the sake of high efficiency in the future.
The continuously declining costs of the industry’s various PV technologies will continue to fuel the demands of the bifacial PV cells; at the present stage, the production costs of a bifacial PV model that utilizes a mono-si PERC cell for both sides is only US$0.005 higher than that of a single-side mono-si PERC cell.
As bifacial PV cells are still an emerging technology, they will still need to have a much better track record in the long run to prove their validity in order to win the trust of the investors and financiers.
The global capacities of bifacial PV cells reached only 97 MW in 2016, and 2.6 GW in 2018.
(Picture credit: Pixabay)