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Insights and Highlights Summary: ETS 2024 Energy Trend Seminar by TrendForce

published: 2023-12-05 17:27

On November 30, 2023, ETS Energy Trend for 2024, hosted by TrendForce and its new energy research center, EnergyTrend, successfully concluded in Shenzhen. With the overarching themes of Empowering, Integration, and Innovation, the seminar brought together influential figures from the global PV and energy storage industries, senior analysts from TrendForce, and numerous guests from the industrial chain in Shenzhen, creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. Additionally, the event drew the attention of thousands of industry insiders who tuned in to watch online.

During the keynote speeches, prominent figures and organizations such as the China Silicon Association, Trina Solar, JA Solar, JinkoSolar, Das Solar, Risen Energy, Betterial, Sunwoda, Growatt, Great Power, and JinkoSolar, among other leading photovoltaic and energy storage enterprises, showcased their latest R&D achievements and products. Analysts from TrendForce also delivered insightful speeches.
At the outset of the event, Fan Xiaoli, General Manager of TrendForce, addressed the audience. In her opening remarks, she extended a warm welcome and heartfelt gratitude to all the guests. She expressed anticipation for more profound exchanges with experts and representatives from leading enterprises, envisioning collaborative discussions on the new industry and emerging directions within the optical storage sector. Fan emphasized TrendForce's commitment to delving deeper into the optical storage industry.

Subsequently, TrendForce analysts and experts from the PV and energy storage industry delivered a series of captivating speeches. The highlights of these presentations are summarized below.

Polysilicon Market Outlook for Supply and Demand in 2024 By Jinbiao Lv, Silicon Association

Reflecting on the polysilicon link in 2023, Lv Jinbiao, Deputy Director of Silicon Association, highlighted that the production capacity at the beginning of the year stood at a mere 1.15 million tonnes. However, with projects initiated in the past two years coming online this year, there has been an unprecedented expansion in production. The production capacity is anticipated to reach 2.58 million tonnes by the end of 2023. Currently, the supply of polysilicon for 2024 is ample, and its price is expected to recede and stabilize within a lower range. In his address, Mr. Lv predicted that polysilicon would be the first material in the PV industry to experience a price decline, driving cost reduction and capacity expansion. Furthermore, the lower polysilicon prices will shift PV power generation from the affordable power generation side to the affordable user side. In the upcoming year, polysilicon manufacturers will adjust their production plans to align with market demand and maintain reasonable profit margins across the supply chain.
As crystalline silicon PV transitions from the p-type to n-type era, the market share of n-type cell modules has increased. More than 90% of mainstream polysilicon enterprises now meet the quality requirements of n-type crystal pulling. Mr. Lv concluded by emphasizing the importance for enterprises to focus on developing environmentally friendly polysilicon, embracing technological and quality innovations to safeguard the sustainable competitiveness of polysilicon in high-efficiency photovoltaic power generation.

Trends in the Global PV Industry Chain Development for 2024 By Faye Wang, Marketing Director of TrendForce

Ms. Wang Jian emphasized that the industry’s top concern in 2023 is excess capacity. In her speech, she delved into the economic and capacity cycles, focusing on the challenges posed by excess capacity. Over the past two years, the industry chain has undergone rapid expansion, resulting in varying degrees of excess capacity in each segment. Ms. Wang noted that the entire PV industry chain will undergo a capacity-clearing process over the next 2 to 3 years, with the growth rate of new capacity continuing to decline. Structural adjustments in stock capacity across the industry chain will occur, leading to a downward trend in capacity utilization rates. On the demand side, issues related to consumption and uncertainties surrounding the new power reform policy will contribute to a slowdown in the growth rate of new domestic PV installations in 2024. Despite potential changes in the competitive landscape due to the capacity expansion of new entrants, the market positions of leading companies remain unchanged. Vertical integration is an inevitable trend in industrialization and upgrading, and the future competition within the industry chain will center on overall enterprise competitiveness in core areas and strategic decision-making power. Given the intense competition in production capacity, domestic enterprises are compelled to expand overseas production capacity. This expansion extends to the upstream industrial chain, including polysilicon and wafers, with the Middle East and Africa emerging as new hubs for production capacity expansion.

The N-Type Epoch: Unveiling Optimized Product Design Trends and Their Inherent Value By Lei Gao, Head of global module product management, Trina Solar

Mr. Gao Lei explored the shifting trends in PV module products driven by PV installations, cost reduction, and the interplay between various technologies. He highlighted Trina Solar's innovative strides in module development. As we are aware, the ongoing process of cost reduction and efficiency enhancement in the PV industry remains a constant. Beyond technological upgrades, the industry has shifted its focus to innovation in module sizes. In April 2022, Trina Solar introduced a groundbreaking product—the 210R rectangular module for wafers—marking a transformative leap in the industry's use of rectangular wafers. In July 2023, recognizing the potential for cost reduction in logistics and manufacturing, Trina Solar collaborated with eight other companies to standardize the module size for rectangular wafer modules, establishing a size of 2382mm*1134mm. Simultaneously, Trina Solar integrated the 210R rectangular wafer technology with advanced N-type i-TOPCON technology, enhancing the performance of the Vertex N 610W modules compared to modules of similar size and types. Not only are these modules more versatile in terms of size versions, but they are also designed to optimize space in shipping containers. Modules of this size achieve a container space utilization rate of 98.5%, the highest level available.
Mr. Gao highlighted Trina Solar's commitment to realizing the industrialization of 210 mm series technologies and high-efficiency battery technologies. The company aims to further enhance the cost reduction per kilowatt power within the prevailing industrial trend."

Design and Selection Analysis of JA Solar High Efficiency Modules in Different Applications By Chongbao Huang, Technical Director of JA Solar

The rapid advancement of the PV industry owes much to cutting-edge technologies and robust systems, with PV modules standing out as a crucial component in the industrial chain. Mr. Huang Chongbao provided insights into the current application of high-efficiency module products, touching on the evolution of module technology and power station design. In his presentation, Mr. Huang highlighted that the growth of module power primarily stems from three key aspects. First, there's the continual enhancement of battery efficiency, exemplified by JA Solar's transition from polycrystalline to monocrystalline and from P-type to N-type to boost battery efficiency. Second, improvements come from optimizing module technology and encapsulation materials. Third, there's an emphasis on increasing the size of wafers and modules. Taking a holistic approach to the entire industrial chain, JA introduced the DEEP Blue 4.0 series, considering factors such as module production, transportation, packaging, installation, and backend system applications. JA also tailored corresponding products for industrial and commercial use, large-scale ground power stations, and household scenarios. The DEEP Blue 4.0 series features BYCIUM cells and high-density packaging technology developed by JA, resulting in modules with enhanced efficiency, higher power output, lower attenuation, improved temperature coefficients, greater double-sided gain, better low-light performance, and outstanding reliability.

Guiding the Advancement of N-Type Modules: JinkoSolar’s N-type Module Enhances Cost Efficiency and Boosts Performance in Solar Projects By Leo Yu, Global PV Solution Director, JinkoSolar

With the rapid evolution of photovoltaic technology, N-type technology is emerging as the predominant trend in the coming years, offering module manufacturers a new avenue to capture a larger market share. Mr. Yu highlighted the significance of leading the N-Type era for Jinko Solar, emphasizing the company’s commitment to continued focus on vertical integration solutions spanning from wafers and cells to modules, supported by Industry 4.0, smart factories, and IoT. Their program showcases numerous advanced technologies in the industry. Mr. Yu also pointed out that the distributed PV market is a key focus for JinkoSolar in 2023, with impressive results already achieved. JinkoSolar holds a strong position at the top of the distributed PV market in Europe, Australia, Japan, and Brazil. In the midst of the accelerated development of N-type modules, JinkoSolar plans to align with industrial demand, enhance product integration, and invest in new technology research and development to aid the industry in cost reduction and efficiency enhancement. Furthermore, JinkoSolar won’t be limited to module production; the company is expanding into solar energy storage, PV integrated construction, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), PV integrated communication, and more. Energy storage is identified as a core segment in their future development strategy.

Exploring Advanced Technological Trends in the Photovoltaic Industry By Timmy Chen, Analyst, TrendForce

At present, technologies within the industrial chain are progressing towards higher conversion efficiency and lower costs. In this context, Chen Tianlang, an analyst from TrendForce, provided insights into the evolving landscape of advanced photovoltaic technology across various links in the industrial chain, encompassing polysilicon, wafer, cell, and modules. Chen summarized the status of the photovoltaic industry chain links. Starting with polysilicon, he projected that from 2024 to 2025, there will be a substantial increase in polysilicon production capacity, leading to a challenging scenario of persistent excess supply. The price is expected to stabilize after the clearing of production capacity, based on the production costs of second-tier manufacturers. Moving to the wafer link, Chen noted that after wafer prices hit their lowest point, costs have been compressed to their minimum. Thus, it becomes crucial to control non-silicon costs at this juncture. Companies with advantages in ensuring the supply of key auxiliary materials and maintaining quality control will have a stronger competitive edge. Regarding the cell link, Chen highlighted that, in the short term, the mainstream technology route for N-type cells will be dominated by TOPCon, HJT, and XBC. Some companies are also accelerating research and development in alternative technology routes. However, large-scale mass production of these alternative technology routes has not materialized due to cost and other factors. In the modules segment, the increasing adoption of N-type modules is driving upgrades and iterations in PV film and welding strip technologies. The transition from MBB to SMBB in module technology upgrades is imposing new requirements on welding strip technology.

DAS Solar's Innovation: N-Type Lightweight High-Density Module Encapsulation Technology Solution By Jie Lei, Director, DAS Solar

Currently, lightweight PV modules featuring N-type technology have emerged as the prevailing trend in the industry to cater to complex and diverse application scenarios. Mr. Jie Lei presented Das Solar's latest technological solutions, focusing on the development of N-type technology, lightweight encapsulation technology, and the application of lightweight modules across various industries. Das Solar has achieved significant breakthroughs in N-type technology research and development, securing world record breakthroughs twice in the third quarter of this year. TOPCon3.0 boasts an efficiency of 26.24%, setting a world record for open circuit voltage. Additionally, TOPCon4.0 achieved a cell efficiency of 26.33%, with current mass production products exceeding 25.8% efficiency. Lightweight modules, as the name implies, prioritize a lightweight design. Their attributes of being light, thin, flexible, and aesthetically pleasing make them convenient for widespread use in various scenarios such as solar street lamps, carports, industrial and commercial roofs, and household roofs. Thanks to their core advantages of high efficiency, power, flexibility, and reliability, lightweight modules have gained significant traction in the market. Jie Lei mentioned that Das Solar has already implemented lightweight products in light roofs, outdoor base stations, carports, rain shelters, and other scenarios.

Risen Energy: Advancing High-Efficiency, Low-Carbon Heterojunction Technology — Unveiling Developments and Sharing Empirical Results By Leon Chuang, Global Marketing Director, Risen Energy

In recent years, the N-type trend has spurred a new wave of technological advancements, and heterojunction technology, garnering significant attention, has emerged as a mainstream trend for its ability to achieve higher power, enhanced efficiency, and improved cost-effectiveness. Mr. Zhuang Yinghong highlighted two key features of heterojunction: high yield and low carbon emissions. The latter is primarily attributed to fewer processing steps, ultra-thin wafers, and low silver-containing pastes. Heterojunction modules boast unique advantages, including high efficiency, increased power output, enhanced reliability, high power generation capacity, extended lifespan, high compatibility, low balance of system (BOS) costs, and eco-friendly low carbon emissions. Consequently, it has become the preferred choice for an expanding user base. Prioritizing cost reduction and efficiency enhancement, Risen Energy has achieved various technological breakthroughs, employing different means to reduce costs in heterojunction products and enhance their overall economics. The company has gathered measurement data from several projects, including field test projects in Linhai, Zhejiang Province, and Hainan Province. Combining the results of authoritative verification and empirical data, Risen Energy’s heterojunction products exhibit superior performance.

Forecasting Installed Demand in the Global Photovoltaic Market for 2024 By Danis Ho, Analyst, TrendForce

Mr. He Wenhui, an analyst from TrendForce, shared insights focusing on the analysis of PV installations in major countries contributing significantly to the sector, as well as those with promising growth rates. He provided a detailed examination of PV installed demand across four continents. Looking ahead to 2024, Mr. He Wenhui highlighted that the global growth rate for new PV installations is expected to slow down, returning to a more reasonable pace. In the regional market, the market shares of the United States and China are relatively stable, whereas the growth rates of Chile, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey stand out. Analyzing PV demand by continent, he noted that Asia and Europe’s installed capacity is in an adjustment stage, maintaining steady growth. Notably, the United States is experiencing a significant rebound in installed demand, propelling the Americas market to sustain a higher growth rate. Conversely, the Middle East Africa witnessed a substantial decline in installed demand due to a sharp drop in module prices. This decline, however, has accelerated the development of large-scale PV ground power plants in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The primary reason for the global slowdown in PV installed capacity growth is the slower pace of grid construction compared to the growth in PV demand. This has resulted in constraints on grid capacity and the consumption of wind and solar energy, posing a significant challenge to PV installation demand. The potential for global PV installations can be unlocked through grid upgrades or increased PV installed capacity. Additionally, some regions are grappling with economic downturns and financial constraints, potentially impacting the implementation of subsidy policies, consequently affecting the growth of domestic installed demand.

Seamless Integration of Solar and Energy Storage: Comprehensive Solutions for PV Encapsulation and Energy Storage Insulation Using Advanced Thermal Materials By Zhou Xu, Betterial

Observing the industry landscape, the photovoltaic sector is addressing the uncertainties in power generation by shifting towards adopting the energy storage technology. The integration of photovoltaic and energy storage has evolved from being a trend to a concrete reality. At the manufacturing end of PV, there is a deep integration of PV modules, PV inverters, and energy storage products. Companies have actively launched energy storage systems along with corresponding products. Mr. Zhou Xu provided insights into the development trend of PV and energy storage integration, covering aspects such as industry development, new module encapsulation solutions, and energy storage insulation solutions. He highlighted the significant contributions of PV cell development, ranging from PERC, XBC, N-TOPCon, HJT to perovskite, which have greatly enhanced the power and efficiency of modules. Addressing encapsulation technology, Mr. Zhou Xu emphasized that new cell types come with higher requirements for encapsulation materials. Betterial has responded to these diverse encapsulation technologies with tailored solutions. In terms of energy storage insulation solutions, Betterial has innovatively introduced a coating material currently employed on aluminum shells. This product has received certification from leading enterprises. The insulating coating material stands out as an environmentally friendly flame retardant material, UV-resistant, anti-fouling, solvent-resistant, boasting high hardness, and demonstrating excellent insulating properties.

Industrial Revolution in Response to Systems with Large-Scale Capacity and Long-Term Operation and Maintenance Requirements By Xiaolong Li, Engineering Technology Director, Sunwoda

At present, the energy storage system trend is unmistakably moving towards larger capacity and longer cycles. High efficiency, increased capacity, and enhanced safety are now the primary goals for new products across various energy storage enterprises. Mr. Li Xiaolong highlighted that, owing to advancements in battery capacity and quality, battery standards have evolved from 100Ah to the current maximum of 560Ah. This signifies continuous growth in energy density and cycle life. The energy storage system has transitioned from the previous 40-foot container with less than 2.5MWh to the current 20-foot and 5MWh level. Consequently, the capacity of energy storage power stations has gradually shifted towards the 100MW scale.
Efficient and secure operation and maintenance of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) have emerged as new challenges for the industry post the industrial revolution. This year, Sunwoda successfully introduced a 314Ah large-capacity energy storage core, a 4MWh/5MWh liquid-cooled energy storage system, and a comprehensive series of industrial and commercial energy storage solutions with capacities ranging from 200 to 500kWh. The company has actively applied innovative technology and solutions in real-world scenarios, contributing to the global transformation of energy development. In addressing industry challenges, Sunwoda relies on its self-developed cloud platform and a global team of professional technical support engineers proficient in battery, PCS, BMS, EMS debugging, and issue resolution. This approach enables Sunwoda to provide real-time responses to users worldwide, with engineers available 24/7 and quick onsite support in first-tier cities. This comprehensive approach ensures full life cycle support and maintenance, offering reliable protection for users.

All-Encompassing Solutions for Industrial and Commercial Energy Storage Scenarios By Yuan Zhimin, Product Director, Growatt

The swift progress in commercial and industrial energy storage this year can be attributed primarily to policy incentives and market dynamics. Mr. Yuan Zhimin's address delved into industrial and commercial energy storage, offering insights from the perspective of inverter PCS manufacturers. According to Mr. Yuan Zhimin, given the current landscape of industrial and commercial energy storage, identifying economically viable projects, particularly those with superior economics, proves challenging and is limited to certain provinces. The economic feasibility hinges on factors like the difference in peak and off-peak power prices and the electricity consumption patterns of enterprises, aligning with the arbitrage periods of energy storage systems. Additionally, energy storage systems exhibit diverse operational models, including contracted energy management and financial leasing. The predominant profit model in the energy storage sector revolves around peak and off-peak arbitrage. Discussing energy storage deployment, Mr. Yuan mentioned that Growatt is aligning with industry trends to expand its footprint. As a leading company in the household storage sector, Growatt has developed its own BMS, EMS, PACK, monitoring, and operation and maintenance systems, establishing a robust technical foundation. Currently, the company offers split-type and all-in-one cabinet solutions for industrial and commercial energy storage, and there are plans to expand into large-scale energy storage, containers, and other application scenarios.

Discussion on the Technologies and Application of 314Ah Battery By Xiaoyan Yan, Great Power

Faced with the rapidly evolving energy storage market, lithium-ion battery energy storage technology is undergoing a significant transformation, with energy storage batteries becoming more specialized. Mr. Yan Xiaoyan provided insights into the current development and application of energy storage batteries, focusing on the trajectory of the energy storage industry and the technical layout of 314Ah batteries.
Currently, the large-sized energy storage industry exhibits a somewhat monotonous battery application, predominantly featuring the mainstream 280Ah battery. For industrial energy storage, lower-capacity batteries like 150Ah, 220Ah, and 280Ah are commonly used. In household energy storage, the primary choices are 50Ah high-voltage products and 100Ah low-voltage products. Portable energy storage encompasses various battery types, including those with the cylindrical shape, and capacities below 30Ah. In 2023, Great Power took a notable step by releasing large-capacity batteries (314Ah) and introducing the first generation of sodium-ion products. The company has successfully commenced mass production of 314Ah batteries. In comparison to the 280Ah batteries, the 314Ah batteries exhibit higher security, longer cycle life, and increased energy efficiency. This positions them at the forefront of advancing large-capacity energy storage battery technology.

Empowering New Energy Storage Systems through Digital Intelligence By Chenhui Yin, TrinaStorage

Ms. Yin Chenhui emphasized the three crucial elements for the current development of energy storage products, derived from the core needs of customers: safety, cost, and value. This underscores the imperative for manufacturers to ensure elevated product safety, attain the lowest life cycle cost, and assist customers in deriving optimal value from the product. Leveraging innovation in traditional electrochemical technology, power electronics, and energy storage integration, the company is also capitalizing on the digital and intelligent evolution within the energy storage realm. By deeply integrating digital and intelligent technologies with energy storage, Jinko Solar aims to craft a digital and intelligent energy storage system, propelling the advancement of new energy storage systems. Ms. Yin explained that JinkoSolar has introduced an integrated structure, termed the end-domain-cloud system for energy storage systems. This integrated system aims to fulfill six major requirements, including system security, intelligent management, real-time monitoring, platform architecture, precise strategy, and refined energy efficiency. The architecture of JinkoSolar’s energy storage cloud encompasses energy storage user equipment, the energy storage cloud platform, and a front-end visualization platform. Data from energy storage terminal equipment, including BMS, PCS, EMS, and auxiliary system equipment, converge within the domain. This facilitates data upload and remote management through a unified transmission protocol.

Global Energy Storage Industry Development: Review of 2023 and Forward to 2024 By Danis Ho, Analyst, TrendForce

As a pivotal component of the new energy sector, energy storage acts as a crucial link connecting various industries within the new energy landscape. Mr. He Wenhui, an analyst at TrendForce, conducted an analysis of the global energy storage market's performance in 2023 and the outlook for 2024. His focus was primarily on major countries, regions, and continents. According to Mr. He Wenhui, the global demand for installed energy storage is anticipated to maintain robust growth in 2024, albeit at a slightly slower pace. The expected annual installed capacity is projected to range between 71GW and 167GWh, reflecting a 43% year-on-year increase in energy and capacity. Market-wise, the installed capacity in the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions is steadily increasing, while that in the Americas is witnessing a decline. Overall, the global demand for energy storage installations in 2024 is set to sustain high growth. The market share for industrial and commercial storage, as well as large-sized energy storage, is expected to increase. However, the growth rate for household storage installations may slow down due to diminishing urgency. Looking at regional markets, the share of mainstream incremental markets, such as China, the United States, and Europe, remains stable. However, notable growth is expected in regions like Israel, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. On a continental scale, Asia and Europe are maintaining high growth rates, whereas the Americas are experiencing a slowdown. In the Middle East and Africa, due to a low starting point and ongoing grid connections, strong and positive growth is evident.

The seminar featured discussions on new technologies, policy updates, analysis of key topics, collaboration between supply and demand stakeholders, and communication among industry players. With the active participation and support of speakers, attendees, and companies including Trina Solar, JA Solar, JinkoSolar, Das Solar, Risen Energy, Growatt, Goodwell, etc., TrendForce’s ETS Energy Trend for 2024 concluded successfully. This event is poised to inject a continuous stream of vitality and vigor into industrial development. We eagerly anticipate the next meeting!

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