According to Rethink Energy UK, a polysilicon surplus will cause the price of the key component of solar cells to plummet by 2023.
Nineteen Chinese firms are increasing capacity to manufacture millions of tons, with “the most likely conclusion being another decade of overcapacity and prices bumping along at marginal production costs.”
Prices for polysilicon, and hence solar modules, will climb further in 2022 as supply continues to fall short of demand. However, when new plants come online, supply will surge again, and prices will fall.
This will begin to alter in January 2023. Prices will continue to fall as new manufacturers open across China’s outskirts. Polysilicon production capacity will rise from 800,000 tons today, to 1.1 million tons by the end of 2022, then to between 1.4 million and 1.7 million tons by the end of 2023.
According to Rethink Energy, 216 GW of polysilicon will be produced in the first half of 2023, up from 125 GW in the first half of 2022. As a result, polysilicon supply will have mostly caught up with solar demand and the rest of the supply chain.
The price of polysilicon drives practically all module pricing. Module prices are projected to fall as polysilicon output grows. Although the pandemic shutdowns impacted output, they did not result in major price increases for non-polysilicon materials such as glass, backsheets, silver paste, and so on.
Reference – Rethink Energy Research, Clean Technica, PV Magazine