Global PV market outlook for the third quarter 2023
(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – The photovoltaic market 2023 does not stop. Driven by the extraordinary Chinese acceleration, it is tracing an upward trajectory compared to previous predictions. BloombergNEF explains by summarising some of the most striking data of its 3Q 2023 Global PV Market Outlook. The forecast document, told by Jenny Chase on the BNEF website, shows all numbers in evolution. According to analysts of the company the sector is reaching new lows in the price of modules and, above all, record levels in the volume of installations. BNEF’s current forecast for new 2023 photovoltaic constructions even points to an astonishing 392 GW.
The main pull comes from China which, as Chase writes, “is installing huge volumes of solar energy and it is increasingly clear that local plans and building targets act as a lower limit rather than higher than what actually happens“. But important contributions also coming from other photovoltaic markets in the world: the United States that, thanks to the IRA, are encouraging the expansion of the renewable star and stripe park; Europe looking for quick solutions for its energy security; countries like South Africa struggling with an increase in planned blackouts.
Photovoltaic market 2023: prices
The 2023 PV market outlook devotes a focus on crystalline silicon, the number one material of cells and modules, whose prices have dropped dramatically in recent months. According to reports by PVinsights, research company on solar photovoltaic, the average transaction price of photovoltaic silicon reached 10.96 dollars per kilogram in the first 7 days of June. A remarkably low value especially when compared to the 38.3 dollars per kilogram of August 2022. The reason for the drop? An excess of supply. Chinese polysilicon producers (who dominate the global supply chain) are going through a phase of large-scale expansion that has led to an increase in company stocks.
Now, explains BloombergNEF, the polycrystalline silicon industry has slightly reduced production and prices have stabilized. “But we’re still predicting a huge oversupply in the second half of 2023, says Chase. “Margins along the entire PV value chain are under pressure, as competition is intense between Chinese manufacturers and module stocks are high in Europe and other large countries“. The drop in semiconductor prices was also reflected in the cost of solar panels, which reached a record low of 16.5 cents per watt in August 2023. This trend, according to BNEF, will not end soon.