The bidding for China’s 2017 Application Top Runner Program (3rd phase) has come to an end. According to the analysis of EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, mono-Si products take considerable share in all the projects, while the share of bifacial products also exceeds 50%. The bid winning projects are expected to lead the technological development of solar PV industry and to drive the market demand.
“Mono-Si PERC accounted for the majority (67%) of all the bid winning projects,” says Lions Shih, EnergyTrend’s analyst, “including conventional mono-Si PERC, bifacial mono-Si PERC, and mono-Si PERC MWT”. Other projects mostly use multi-Si P-PERC and bifacial N-PERT. For P-type products, black silicon and PERC technologies are applied to improve the performances.
Base on specifications of cells and modules, EnergyTrend further calculates the possible cell efficiency and molding module power output. The results show that it is not a problem for conventional products to meet the technical requirements, but there are more uncertainties for bifacial modules. This is because purchase choices are made mainly based on the module efficiency on the front side, but there is no effective calculation of efficiency on the backside of modules. For power plant operators, they will have relatively lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) if the modules have higher efficiency, which will allow them to obtain higher subsidy of feed-in tariff (FiT).
Considering the situation of bidding this time and the development of advanced cell technology in 2018, mono-Si PERC will still be the most popular choice for future products, while development of bifacial modules is expected to accelerate as the backside can generate extra power. On the other hand, N-type cell and other new-generation cell products will see increasing market share with the expansion of production and rising cell efficiency in the industry.
On the demand side for the products mentioned above, the demand for mono-Si products is strong in May. The prices for mono-Si module remain stable as the supply and demand achieve a balance. In comparison, multi-Si products have seen weak demand due to the lower performance-price ratio than mono-Si ones. For the module makers, the processing costs for mono-Si and multi-Si modules are generally the same, but the power output of mono-Si modules can gain 10W more than multi-Si ones, making mono-Si ones more favored by customers. Based on the current development trend of mono-Si and multi-Si modules, the market situation will not change much until June 30th, unless there are new incentives to bring up the demand for multi-Si modules.