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Leading the world, number one in the world, how does China’s photovoltaic industry do it

“Photovoltaic” is the abbreviation of “solar photovoltaic system“, which realizes the direct conversion of solar radiation energy into electrical energy (that is, what we often call “solar power generation”) is an inexhaustible and cleaner power supply system. In 2020, the national photovoltaic power generation capacity will be 260.5 billion kwh, accounting for 3.5% of China total power generation capacity.

Driven by the policies of “carbon peaking” (China commitment to stop increasing carbon dioxide emissions in 2030) and “carbon neutrality” (realizing zero carbon dioxide emissions in 2060), the demand for photovoltaic equipment has surged. The improvement of photovoltaic technology level, the advantages of cost control, huge production capacity, and policy support are the main reasons why China’s photovoltaic industry leads the world. Affected by the epidemic and the elimination of foreign companies, the global photovoltaic industry has accelerated its transfer to China. my country has listed the photovoltaic industry as one of the national strategic emerging industries. Under the dual effects of industrial policy guidance and market demand drive, the national photovoltaic industry Achieved rapid development.

01 Composition of photovoltaic industry chain

In recent years, China’s photovoltaic industry has made full use of its own technological foundation and industrial supporting advantages to develop rapidly, and has gradually gained and consolidated international competitive advantages. It already has the most complete photovoltaic industry chain in the world.

In the photovoltaic industry chain, the upstream is raw materials, mainly including silicon wafers, silver paste, soda ash, quartz sand, etc.; the midstream is divided into two parts, photovoltaic panels and photovoltaic modules; the downstream is the application field of photovoltaics, which are mainly used for power generation. It can also be used for heating instead of fuel.

China is in the global leading position in the upper and middle reaches of the photovoltaic industry chain, especially in the fields of polysilicon, solar cells and photovoltaic modules, and has achieved the world’s first position. In terms of the concentration of each segment of the industry chain, there is a big difference. The industry concentration of each link is: 73% (silicon wafer), 69% (silicon material), 43% (module), 38% (cell) .

Photovoltaic industry chain
Figure 1: Schematic Diagram of the Composition of the Photovoltaic Industry Chain

In general, the characteristics of China’s photovoltaic industry chain are as follows:

(1) High productivity and huge market size

The scale of China’s photovoltaic special equipment market has reached 25 billion yuan, accounting for 71.4% of the global market, and the newly installed photovoltaic capacity has ranked first in the world for 7 consecutive years. With the rapid growth of China’s economy, electricity consumption is also rapidly The demand will only increase in the future, which shows the huge photovoltaic market. As of the end of 2021, the output of photovoltaic modules has ranked first in the world for 12 consecutive years, and the manufacturing capacity is very objective.

(2) Technological progress, cost gradually reduced

China’s photovoltaic industrialization technology level has been leading the world, and it has achieved remarkable results in reducing costs. The price is gradually becoming more reasonable, which will lead to the further popularization of related products.

(3) Market imbalance and industrial structure imbalance

There are many photovoltaic companies and R&D units in China, but the industry is mainly concentrated in the middle and lower reaches of the industrial chain, while the upstream raw material production technology is backward, and the output supply is insufficient, and most of them rely on foreign imports. Many companies rely on imports of raw materials and exports of products. And the demand mainly comes from abroad, resulting in the supply and demand ends of the industrial chain are very dependent on the international market, which urgently needs the domestic market as a solid foundation. At the same time, a large number of photovoltaic enterprises are concentrated in the middle and lower reaches, with fierce competition and lack of control. The healthy development of the industrial chain.

(4) Subsidies are declining, and motivation continues to dry up

China’s subsidy standards for the photovoltaic industry are decreasing year by year, but China’s photovoltaic power generation enterprises rely on state financial subsidies to a certain extent. In the case of reduced subsidies, enterprises will face greater financial pressure and the risk of cash flow cut-off, and The power of R&D and innovation will also be hit, which is the current dilemma faced by enterprises.

02 Development Status of Photovoltaic Industry

(1) Growth of photovoltaic power generation installed capacity

Solar power is the main force for the development of renewable energy, which can help energy conservation and emission reduction. In recent years, the installed capacity of solar power generation in China has continued to grow. In 2020, the installed capacity of solar power generation will be 253 million kilowatts, a year-on-year increase of 24.1%. By the end of 2021, the grid-connected installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation will reach 306 million kilowatts, surpassing the 300 million kilowatt mark, ranking first in the world for seven consecutive years.

Power generation installed capacity
Figure 2: 2016-2021 installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation in China

(2) Increase in new installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation

In recent years, China’s photovoltaic power generation has achieved world-renowned development achievements, and its newly installed capacity is far ahead of other countries. In 2020, China’s newly installed solar power generation capacity will be 48.2 million kilowatts, a year-on-year increase of 81.7%. In 2021, China’s newly added photovoltaic power generation grid-connected installed capacity will be about 54.88 million kilowatts, which is the most put into operation every year over the years, ranking first in the world for 9 consecutive years. Among them, 25.6 million kilowatts of photovoltaic power stations and 29.28 million kilowatts of distributed photovoltaics. Looking at the layout of new installed capacity, the areas with a relatively high proportion of installed capacity are North China, East China and Central China, accounting for 39%, 19% and 15% of the country’s new installed capacity respectively.

New installed power generation capacity
Figure 3: New installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation in China from 2016 to 2021

(3) Steady growth of photovoltaic power generation

In recent years, China has vigorously advocated energy green and environmental protection, and the new energy power generation market has been continuously promoted, and the photovoltaic power generation has continued to grow year by year. In 2016, photovoltaic power generation was 66.2 billion kwh, accounting for 1% of China’s total annual power generation. In 2019, the national photovoltaic power generation exceeded 200 billion kWh for the first time. In 2020, the photovoltaic power generation will be 260.5 billion kwh, a year-on-year increase of 16.1%; in 2021, the photovoltaic power generation will be 325.9 billion kwh, a year-on-year increase of 25.1%.

Photovoltaic power generation
Figure 4: 2016-2021 China source of photovoltaic power generatio

(4) The scale of the photovoltaic industry continues to expand

According to the database created by Firestone, the national output of polysilicon, silicon wafers, batteries, and components will reach 505,000 tons, 227GW, 198GW, and 182GW in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 27.5%, 40.6%, 46.9%, and 46% respectively. .1%.

Table 1: China’s main photovoltaic product output in 2021

China main photovoltaic product output in 2021

(5) Photovoltaic industry market application continues to grow

As the world accelerates its response to climate change, demand in the photovoltaic market continues to increase. In 2021, China’s photovoltaic product exports will exceed 28.4 billion US dollars. Domestic carbon peak carbon neutrality is actively promoted, the construction of large-scale photovoltaic power generation bases is accelerated, policies such as the promotion of distributed photovoltaics and smart photovoltaic innovation and development action plans for the entire county continue to be implemented, and public service platforms such as standards and testing are constantly optimized.

Export value
Figure 5: 2016-2021 China’s export value of photovoltaic products
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