As time enters the fourth quarter of 2020, global demand for photovoltaic modules has skyrocketed. Some research institutes said: In the fourth quarter, the global demand for photovoltaic modules exceeded 36 GW.
If in normal times, many photovoltaic companies will be happy, but at this moment, they feel powerless. This is because the actual module supply is only about 26 GW, and nearly one-third of the photovoltaic projects will be forced to delay grid connection.
How is this going? Haven't manufacturers been expanding production capacity all the time? How can there be a shortage?
There is a saying: It is difficult for a clever woman to cook without rice. Due to the shortage of raw materials and the resulting increase in material prices, there is a serious shortage of production capacity.
The structure of photovoltaic modules
It is necessary to popularize the structure of photovoltaic modules: photovoltaic glass, photovoltaic film, cell, photovoltaic backplane.
Glue the photovoltaic glass and solar cells together with EVA adhesive film to form a laminate; use a laminator to laminate the laminate into a whole, use silicone/tape to install the laminate into the aluminum frame, and install a junction box; After the silicone is cured, a photovoltaic module is formed.
In the photovoltaic industry, EVA is mainly used in the use of photovoltaic packaging film. Adhesive film and back sheet are both key packaging materials for solar cell modules, which can encapsulate and protect solar cell modules, improve the photoelectric conversion efficiency of the modules, and extend the service life of the modules.
For photovoltaic packaging film manufacturers, the most important raw material is EVA resin, and the purchase of this part of raw materials accounts for 90% of the company's total raw materials.
EVA is the abbreviation of polyethylene-polyvinyl acetate copolymer, which is a kind of thermosetting adhesive film, used in the middle of laminated glass. Due to the superiority of EVA film in terms of adhesion, durability, optical characteristics, etc., it has been more and more widely used in current components and various optical products.
Since EVA follows the trend of crude oil, when crude oil with frequent price fluctuations changes, the market price of EVA will inevitably move. The current wave of EVA price increases has directly raised the cost of photovoltaic film.
In 2019, the purchase price of EVA resin for an adhesive film company was 11,425 yuan per ton, which was not high compared to 2018. But at present, based on the EVA price of more than 17,000 yuan per ton of related manufacturers, the average price has increased by 55.7% compared with last year.
In the future, the quotation of photovoltaic film will not only increase in the overall quotation, but many projects of superimposed photovoltaic power plants are advancing in the short term due to the early epidemic and the acceleration of the existing construction period. The module will inevitably increase the order volume of the film. The film, which is already tight in supply and demand, is even more "hard to find."
According to the "barrel theory", the shortcoming that led to the shortage of photovoltaic modules this time lies in photovoltaic glass.
Photovoltaic glass is a kind of special glass that can use solar radiation to generate electricity by laminating into solar cells, and has related current extraction devices and cables. It has the advantages of beautiful appearance, light transmission and controllable, and it is widely used.
Technically speaking, photovoltaic glass has higher requirements for photovoltaic transmittance, mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance, and high temperature resistance. It has better requirements than ordinary glass in terms of material, process, furnace structure and operation. High demands. Therefore, it is difficult for ordinary glass manufacturers to enter the photovoltaic glass market by converting ordinary glass production lines to photovoltaic glass production lines.
According to investigations by relevant parties, due to the cold repair of many manufacturers' production lines, and some manufacturers choose to maintain kilns or stop production due to tight supply of raw materials, the overall capacity growth of the photovoltaic glass industry has slowed down. At the same time, under the expectation of increasing demand for photovoltaic installations in the second half of the year, corporate inventories continue to decrease, and the supply of original glass is in a tight state.
For example, ordinary 3.2mm coated glass rose from about 24 yuan at the beginning of the year to the current 30-34 yuan range, and even the price of 35 yuan/square meter was also sold, and the price of photovoltaic glass increased by 25%-40%.
Since the beginning of this year, the price of photovoltaic supply chain is like riding a roller coaster. After the continuous silicon material accident in July, the price of the entire supply chain has been turbulent, and the price of polysilicon has even reached the point of daily change. Nowadays, photovoltaic glass takes over the price war between the upstream and downstream of the photovoltaic industry chain and has become the most concerned link in the supply chain.
On the whole, it is difficult for the price of photovoltaic modules to fall in the fourth quarter, and this situation is likely to continue into the first quarter of next year.
Everything has two sides. On the other hand, it is precisely because of the hotness of the photovoltaic industry that the supply of photovoltaic modules exceeds demand! This further strengthens the hearts of photovoltaic practitioners! Try Harder! For this rising sun industry!