Date November 01, 2023
Senior PV analyst Dora Zhao of InfoLink Consulting shared insights on polysilicon supply-demand dynamics and future roadmap on Oct. 26 upon invitation by Autowell.

With industry colleagues, Zhao explored the long-term prospects of smart PV manufacturing at the Next-Gen Monocrystalline Furnace Product Launch Conference of Wuxi Songci Electromechanical Co., Ltd held by Autowell, facilitating the industry’s joint endeavor to realize a greener future.

With all PV application scenarios flourishing, Zhao expects the annual global module demand in 2023 to increase by 46%, reaching 412 GW, even 455 GW under an optimistic forecast. 

Having added more installed PV capacity than the entire 2022 by the first half of 2023, China sees remarkable module demand this year. Zhao pointed out that as of September, the addition of installed PV capacity this year reached 129 GW. However, export volume dropped significantly due to high inventories in overseas markets and regional holidays in July. Fourth-quarter demand growth remains uncertain due to some variables. 

According to Zhao, the cell sector will be the first to witness production capacity exceeding 1 TW, closely followed by module makers potentially reaching the 1-TW threshold in the fourth quarter of 2023. Ingot and polysilicon manufacturers will each catch up no later than the first quarter and in the second quarter of 2024. In the latter half of the year, polysilicon production capacity will officially surpass ingot production capacity. Overall, industry concentration of the ingot segment on leading manufacturers has let up and will stabilize afterward.   

N-type technologies are gaining traction as the industry pursues larger, thinner wafers. N-type wafers have higher penetration rates. Early this month, 11% of the monthly wafer output were n-type wafers. The figure rose to 27% in September, said Zhao. 

As for the capacity expansions of high-efficiency n-type cells, planned TOPCon, HJT, and xBC cell capacities have reached 1,713 GW, 379 GW, and 67 GW, respectively. However, a yawning gap between actual capacities and planned values will remain this year. TOPCon cell production capacity will exceed 600 GW.

Finally, Zhao offered projections on market shares of different types of modules. With higher efficiency and relatively mature manufacturing equipment and techniques, TOPCon modules will see production capacity increasing markedly and its market share rising from 29% in 2023 to 82% in 2026. HJT and xBC modules will see market shares rising slowly but steadily. The industry will continue its relentless quest for technological advancement.

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