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ITRPV Reports 50% Drop in Solar Module Prices for 2023

published: 2024-06-06 17:14

The latest edition of the ITRPV, released this week, reveals that global installed PV capacity hit 1.6 TW by the end of last year. The curve, indicating the average module prices in relation to cumulative shipments, stands at 24.9% for the period from 1976 to 2023.

The German engineering association VDMA has released the 15th edition of its annual ITRPV report. The report reveals that module shipments reached a record high of 502 GW in 2023, bringing the cumulative global installed PV capacity to approximately 1,610 GW.

Last year's growth was driven by a sharp 50% decrease in panel prices, supported by a 24.9% learning curve from 1976 to 2023. This curve illustrates both technological advancements and market trends. The report also underscores the dominance of crystalline silicon PV technology, which accounts for 97% of the market, with thin-film technologies making up the remaining share. According to the ITRPV, monocrystalline wafers have completely replaced multicrystalline ones, with no remaining mass production of the latter.

This year, analysts predict that n-type wafers will surpass P-type materials, capturing a 69% market share by year-end. In terms of cell technologies, n-type TOPCon is set to overtake the current market leader, P-type PERC, which will continue to decline in market share. HJT and back contact cells are expected to follow this trend. According to the ITRPV, mass production of tandem silicon solar cells is anticipated to begin in 2027.

The roadmap indicates that bifacial solar cells will capture a 90% market share this year and maintain this dominance throughout the next decade. However, bifacial solar modules will only account for about 63% of the market, suggesting significant integration of bifacial cells into monofacial module configurations. The ITRPV report also highlights efforts to reduce material consumption, such as using thinner wafers, reducing silver usage through fine-line printing, and incorporating copper-containing metallization. Analysts predict increased throughput in solar factories over the next decade, with copper interconnections continuing to dominate cell-to-cell and string connections at the module level.

Manufacturers are increasingly favoring larger wafer formats, such as M10 182 mm, and rectangular formats like M10R and G12R. Conversely, smaller formats like M6 with 166 mm² are losing market share and may soon phase out. Even larger sizes surpassing G12 with 210 square millimeters are anticipated in the near future.

In terms of module sizes, products ranging from 1.8 m² to 2.0 m² are poised to dominate the rooftop segment, while modules spanning from 2.5 m² to 3.0 m² lead the PV power plant market. The majority of new factories planned for this year boast a nominal capacity of at least 5 GW, facilitating economies of scale. However, smaller factories with capacities below 1 GW still cater to niche applications and local markets.

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