18 5 月, 2024

Manufacturing

Processing Machinery

Who will be the next generation of photovoltaic cell technology in the trillions dollar new energy market?

5 min read

preface:
2022 is the first year of the outbreak of N-type batteries, and the development of next-generation photovoltaic cell technologies such as TOPCon, HJT, and IBC is in full swing.
Author | Fang Wen

Image Source | Network
Rapid growth of photovoltaic cell market
The National Energy Administration has released the “Operation Status of Photovoltaic Power Generation Construction in the First Half of 2022”. In the first half of 2022, the total installed capacity of photovoltaics in China was 30.88 gigawatts (1 gigawatt=1000 megawatts), a year-on-year increase of 137.4%, which has exceeded the total installed capacity in the first ten months of last year.
Among the numerous links in the photovoltaic industry chain, the battery link is the core of technological progress. In the entire photovoltaic industry chain, battery cells belong to the middle and downstream links. Battery cells are processed on the basis of silicon wafers, and their function is to convert light energy into electrical energy.
With the rapid development of China’s photovoltaic industry, the market for photovoltaic cells in China has grown rapidly. Against the backdrop of the continuous expansion of leading enterprises, the production capacity of photovoltaic cells in China has grown rapidly. In 2021, the production capacity of solar cells in China was 350 GW/year, a year-on-year increase of 59.09%.
In terms of production, China’s photovoltaic cell production has maintained a rapid growth trend in recent years. In 2011, the total production of solar cells in China was only 21GW. By 2021, the production of solar cells in China has increased to 198GW, a year-on-year increase of 46.9%.
The production scale of the photovoltaic cell market has been increasing year by year, and the industry is mainly concentrated in the East China region. The region with the highest production of photovoltaic cells is East China, accounting for 73.2% of the national production, while the Southwest region has a production of 9.42%, ranking second. Among all provinces and cities, Jiangsu Province has the highest output, with 53.834 million kilowatts, which is nearly twice the output of Zhejiang; Zhejiang ranks second in terms of production, at 28.606 million kilowatts; Anhui ranks third in terms of production, at 20.67 million kilowatts.
Continuous technological upgrading and rapid development of the photovoltaic industry
Technological innovation will also gradually shift photovoltaic cells from P-type to N-type. Photovoltaic cells are mainly divided into two types: P-type and N-type. P-type silicon wafers are doped with boron, while N-type silicon wafers are doped with phosphorus.
There are two main types of P-type batteries: BSF batteries and PERC batteries, which occupy the main market share. N-type batteries are mainly divided into three types: TOPCon, HJT (heterojunction), and IBC.
At present, the space for cost reduction and efficiency improvement of P-type photovoltaic cells on the market is shrinking, and a number of enterprises are gradually starting to layout N-type photovoltaic cells.
Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other five departments jointly issued the Action Plan for Accelerating the Green and Low Carbon Innovative Development of Electric Power Equipment, which pointed out that, through five to eight years, we should focus on the development of efficient and low-cost photovoltaic cell technology in solar equipment, including TOPCon, HJT, IBC and other crystalline silicon solar cell technologies and the industrialization of perovskite, laminated battery module technologies.
According to the statistics of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, the market share of PERC cells in 2021 was about 91%, with heterojunctions and TOPCon accounting for less than 3% in total.
It is expected that by 2025, the total proportion of ultra efficient battery technologies represented by heterojunctions and TOPCon will be close to 40%, and it is expected to exceed 75% by 2030.
At present, most of the HJT battery production lines are still small-scale. In the longer term, disruptive innovative technologies represented by HJT have simpler processes, clear and clear industrialization cost reduction paths, and large potential for future efficiency improvement. However, the high cost of not being interconnected with the PERC production line makes it less competitive in the short term. According to Energy Trend’s forecast, the total production capacity of the HJT battery project is planned to exceed 150GW.
IBC batteries are a platform based long-term battery technology route, and it is still difficult to achieve large-scale mass production in China. Meanwhile, the classic IBC efficiency premium is difficult to cover the cost premium, and the TBC and HBC paths combined with TOPCon and HJT are expected to attract industrial transformation.
At present, there are many domestic enterprises that have laid out IBC batteries, such as Longji Green Energy, Aixu Group, Trina Solar, Zhonglai Group, and Jingao Technology. It is expected to see a small amount of production capacity landing this year.
The trend of AI chip in the world is that the trillion yuan new energy market is competing for the best. Who will be the next generation of photovoltaic cell technology?
TOPCon batteries have entered the stage of industrialization and expansion
According to SMM statistics, China’s Topcon battery production capacity has rapidly expanded this year, with 49.4GW currently in production, 60.5GW under construction, and 206GW planned. It is expected that the production capacity of TOPCon batteries will reach 77.4GW by the end of 2022, mainly concentrated in Jiangsu, Anhui, and Zhejiang, accounting for 42.76%, 31.01%, and 19.38% respectively.
It is expected that the production capacity of TOPCon batteries will reach 305.9GW by the end of 2023, with an annual increase of 228.5GW, mainly concentrated in Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, and Shanxi.
In October of this year, GCL Integrated announced the signing of an investment agreement with the People’s Government of Wanzhou District, Wuhu City for the 20GW photovoltaic cell and supporting industry production base project, and reached a cooperation intention for the investment and construction of the 20GW TOPCon photovoltaic cell and supporting industry production base project.
The trend of AI chip in the world is that the trillion yuan new energy market is competing for the best. Who will be the next generation of photovoltaic cell technology?
End: Development Space for Photovoltaic Battery Enterprises
Under the universal concept of energy conservation in the world, green technology for photovoltaic cells has become a new star in the industry. And this wave of green technology trend, with solar energy being the most bullish market, may become the global star of tomorrow with half the sky shining red.
As is well known, in the current photovoltaic industry chain, although the overall entry threshold for photovoltaic cells is relatively low, they are also one of the most technologically transformative links. Since the completion of the technological transformation of the first generation photovoltaic cells (BSF cells) by PERC type batteries, which propelled the photovoltaic industry into the era of parity, the “efficiency anxiety” of the subsequent cycle has become prominent.
Photovoltaic cell technology is rapidly developing, and the trend of P-type to N-type development has become a foregone conclusion, which is also attracting more industrial capital to layout.
Part of the content comes from: Jingwei Venture Capital: The Technology Competition for Photovoltaic Cells, Who Will Stand out in the Trillion Market?; China’s Topcon battery production capacity is rapidly expanding, and the Topcon battery sector continues to rise; China Research Network: Analysis Report on the Current Situation and Development Trends of Photovoltaic Cell Technology in 2022; Analysis of the Development Status and Prospects of the Photovoltaic Battery Industry