As indicated by the 22Q2 report of EnergyTrend under TrendForce, approximately 80% (56) of businesses are now capable of producing 210mm cells under a YoY growth of 51% amidst the brisk development of 210mm products, with roughly 23 module makers now marching into 600W+. Large-sized and ultra-high power PV products are seeing a swift advancement attributable to their high power, efficiency, reliability, and high profit. Having exceeded 80% of capacity and shipment in wafers, cells, and modules, large-sized products are now the mainstream of the market.
Having become a robust force, 210mm high-power products will open up new paths for the industry pertaining to efficiency elevation and cost reduction, as well as accelerate the progress of global decarbonization, and achieve net zero emission as early as possible, in the midst of constant refinement of various technology such as N-type.
A further improvement in efficiency elevation and cost reduction, as well as increment in IRR of projects, have become even more urgent after seeing a continuous inflation of polysilicon throughout the first half of 2022.
Trend: 23 Businesses Now Marching into 600W+ as High-Power Modules Become Focus of Tenders
As denoted by the tender data of TrendForce, the ratio of large-sized 182 & 210mm (including 210R) has increased drastically. Modules represented by high-power ≥530W 182 & 210mm (including 210R) variations are mainstream products adopted by central and state-owned enterprises this year. An observation on the already announced 89.4GW of PV module tenders indicates that roughly 72.2GW (77%) of tenders have not specified on size requirements, and are merely asking for a power of 530 and above. 17.2GW of tenders have specified on module size requirements, of which large-sized (182 & 210mm) variations account for 13.97GW at 81.2% (ratio for sizes specified by 17.2GW). Bifacial modules are significantly rising in demand, and are occupying 62% of tenders. Bifacial and double glass modules are gradually receiving market recognition.
The tendency of large-sized products has also become exceedingly apparent among various application scenarios such as projects of ground power stations, where large-sized and high-power modules are becoming mainstream. There are now roughly 23 module makers who have marched into 600W+. Large-sized distributed PV products are expected to welcome a rapid development under the incessant prosperity of the distributed market, as well as the enormous support from national policies such as the provincial-level implementation.
The latest updates of the PV industry will be dissected below through various segments including wafers, cells, and modules.
210mm Wafers Rose 172% in Capacity with Large-Sized Ratio Surpassing 80% and Thinning Progress Exceeding Anticipation
The single GW investment cost for large-sized products is constantly dropping at the current stage, with apparent advantages in cost performance value for the corresponding production lines. New established capacity during the first half of 2022 was mostly compatible with large-sized 182 & 210mm wafers. As indicated by the survey of EnergyTrend under TrendForce, large-sized wafers (182 & 210mm) are expected to arrive at 422.6GW in capacity during 2022 at a ratio of 83.1%, of which 210mm would occupy 164GW (32.25%) of capacity under a YoY increase of 172% (60.1GW in 2021). Large-sized wafers (182 & 210mm) will successively complete in capacity layout in 2023, and arrive at a market share of 89.97% then, where 210mm would attain a capacity of 274.6GW at 46.35%.
The progress of wafer thinning has exceeded the initial expectation, which yielded a sizable reduction of wafer consumption. Businesses, under the current obstinately high prices of raw materials, are constantly lowering their consumption of wafers by rapidly switching from 165μm to 160/155μm, and are going to continue marching towards 150μm. Wafer consumption is thus expected to drop from 2.7-2.8g/W in 2021 to approximately 2.6g/W.
80% of Businesses Capable of Producing 210mm Cells under Accelerated Iteration between Old and New Capacity
The deployment of large-sized 182 & 210mm (including 210R) cells is steadily falling in place from the capacity upgrades and iterations of businesses, as well as their shift of demand. According to the study of TrendForce, the combined capacity of 182 & 210mm (including 210R) is currently at roughly 82.5% in 2022, of which 210mm (including 210R) accounts for 247.6GW at 47.83%. About 80% of businesses (56) are capable of producing 210mm and below cells, which is a YoY growth of 51%, and the actual output will depend on market demand. With the successive production of new capacity and the further transition of demand, large-sized cells (182 & 210mm) are likely to ascend to 593.25GW in capacity during 2023, where 210mm cells may attain 380.4GW in overall capacity under another increase in market share to 57.59%.
Large-Sized Modules Accounted for Nearly 80% of Shipment in Q1 under Simultaneous Acceleration in Capacity and Shipment
Large-sized modules continue to enlarge in capacity during 2022, with new capacity essentially compatible with 210mm and below sizes. According to the study of TrendForce, large-sized modules are estimated to arrive at a capacity of 442.2GW at the end of 2022 under a market share of 82.86%, where 210mm would occupy 253.9GW of capacity at 47.57%.
Major module makers generated a combined shipment of 34.31GW in 22Q1, where large-sized modules (182 & 210mm) took up roughly 27.26GW at 79%. Considering the relatively smaller burden on the historical capacity of second and third-tier module makers, new capacity established since 2021 is compatible with 210mm and below sizes. Large-sized products (182 & 210mm) are more advantageous in output and shipment, and the industry has now exceeded 80% in overall shipment of large-sized modules. The subsiding demand for M6 modules and below sizes has invigorated shipment of large-sized modules. Major modules makers are expected to ship a total of 203-230GW throughout 2022, and 210mm modules (including 210R) will ascend rapidly in shipment at the same time.
Product Quantity Expected to Grow Swiftly amidst Accelerated Deployment in N-Type and 210mm
PERC cells have been exerting relatively low cost in recent years, though their space for efficiency elevation is now approaching the cap. As cost of materials, transportation, and land increases, a further improvement in conversion efficiency, reduction in system cost, and acceleration in iteration and upgrades for N-type technology, are becoming essential factors for PV businesses in occupying competitive advantages within the industry chain. 210mm is a product of the times, and accompanies stacking of any advanced technology thanks to its openness and extensive compatibility. Trina Solar had just announced a plant construction in Xining that will focus on the new N-type and 210 technology for additional capacity, which ensures that the company would create bigger values for the next generation high-efficiency N-type technology as a major supplier of main materials for N-type 210mm cells. An adoption of 210mm cells and the N-type technology can attain a power of 700W+ for modules, and such technical advancement will become the future orientation in technology and products for the PV industry. The continuous R&D and deployment in HJT and TOPCon products among most businesses are likely to trigger an expeditious growth in product quantity.
The collocation of large-sized products and advanced technology has opened up additional space for efficiency elevation, as well as located reliable routes for cost reduction. 210mm + N-type continue to optimize cost per watt, and may contribute to the development of high quality for the PV industry, as well as further increase the ratio of PV in renewable energy, and facilitate an early attainment of the carbon peaking and neutrality goals.