According to the China Silicon Industry Association, the price of polysilicon soared to US$45.47 per kilogram last week, which is more than 600% higher than the low price of less than US$7 per kilogram in the second quarter of 2020. If polysilicon prices are to drop, we can only hope for more and more polysilicon manufacturers in the future.
Each watt of solar panel requires approximately 3 grams of virgin polysilicon, so a solar panel with a rated capacity of about 400 W uses 1.2 kilograms of polysilicon. If it is a large solar panel up to 700W, it will use 2.1 kilograms of polysilicon, which is US$90 at the current price.
Now the spot market price may be much higher than the long-term contract price but since the investment cost of polysilicon factories has not soared, there will be a large number of polysilicon production lines at the end of this year and polysilicon prices are expected to decline in 2023. U.S. energy service provider Clean Energy Associates’ (CEA) solar price forecast plan report for the second quarter of 2022 pointed out that with the expansion of polysilicon ingots and wafer manufacturers, the market environment will become more competitive, and cheaper polysilicon will be available at that time. Global polysilicon manufacturing capacity is expected to reach 285 GW by the end of this year.
The CEA report pointed out that the polysilicon price is expected to remain at around US$30 per kilogram by the end of the year, the price will not fall for the first time until the first quarter of 2023, and as more and more manufacturers in China start production, there may also be an oversupply.
While future polysilicon prices are unpredictable, CEA believes that average wafer prices in 2022 will fall by 23% from US$0.13 per watt by the end of 2023, representing a possible US$10 per kilogram polysilicon price drop. BloombergNEF also pointed out that there will be enough polysilicon factories by the end of 2023 to supply up to 500 GW of solar modules.
（Image：Images used in compilation by Georg Slickers, Warut Roonguthai and Компания НИТОЛ.Compilation Own work., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons）