We had previously covered the issue of a shortage of solar glass and how it is crimping China’s solar panel output; that trend is expected to persist through the first half of 2021, with large format glass in short supply for long, panel makers and analysts say.
Driven by growing preference for bifacial modules – which produce power from both sides of the panel – and larger panels, demand is outpacing production capacity addition, they say. An installation rush in the last quarter of the year has worsened the shortfall.
Solar panel producers like Longi Green Energy Technology Co., one of the world’s biggest solar power company says a shortage of solar glass is raising costs and delaying production of new panels, throwing a wrench into China’s plans to accelerate its shift to clean power.
Panel producers have approached government in China to address the situation by approving new factories. Otherwise price hikes risk making solar power too expensive and halting the industry’s momentum.
Solar glass production is expected to increase next year as new capacity from glass makers Xinyi Solar and Flat Glass comes online but you still need about two years to fully come online.
The new capacities can produce larger glass modules… But large format glass capacity will be unable to catch up with module capacity next year
China is the world’s biggest manufacturer of photovoltaic products, with almost 80% of the world’s solar panel production capacity in 2019, according to the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA).
Reference- BloombergNEF, Reuters, Forbes, Business Insider