After the turbulence in 2018, the global market has begun to stabilize in 2019. According to EnergyTrend, the Green Energy Research Division from TrendForce, in 2020, judging from the three major global market trends, the market conditions are improving. The industry is stabilizing and maturing through perpetual changes.
Trend 1: Overseas layout in 2019, steady progress in 2020
The shock of the 531 New Policy accelerates the overseas deployment of enterprises. With the recovery of the European market, the rise of emerging markets in Southeast Asia, the market will become more globally decentralized. It is estimated that the newly installed PV capacity will reach 125GW in 2020. From 2020 to 2025, the global market will grow slightly. However, the annual growth rate is about 7%. In 2020, the top five markets are China, the United States, India, Japan, and the Netherlands. Although the global market share of China is shrinking, it continues to be the largest market in the world. It should be noted that, despite the fact that the European market has recovered, the global major markets are still in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for about 60% of the global market. Southeast Asia, in particular, is the engine of the growth in the Asia-Pacific market.
Trend 2: three wafer sizes stand out while competition remains fierce among module manufacturers
The most discussed topic in 2019 is the rise of large-sized wafers. To produce large-sized silicon wafers, total equipment revamp of the downstream cell and module manufacturers is required. Most cell production plants have just completed the upgrade for PERC in 2019. Therefore there is no plan to revamp the equipment in 2020. The only exceptions are the large-size wafer manufacturers, which integrate with the downstream module production plants to drive the demand. Looking ahead to 2020, the three mainstream sizes of wafers will be as follows: M2, G1 and M6. In the field of module technology, on the other hand, there is fierce competition. The market is dying for any technology that can quickly increase module efficiency. 9BB and half cuts continue to be the mainstream. The mass-produced 72-cell modules are on their way to 450W.
Trend 3: The global dominance of string inverters
Spearheaded by Huawei, the string inverters are the new darlings for the commercial and industrial projects, in which central inverters used to be the reigning champions. The leading manufacturers of other string inverters from Mainland China invested heavily in research and development. This leads to the power ratings of the three-phase inverters to increase, which are inching towards the power rating level of central inverters. It is estimated that the popularity of string inverters cultivated by China would change the purchase habits of downstream system integrators. The global market share of string inverters will gradually increase. It is estimated that their global market share will exceed 50% for the first time in 2021.