80% of the price of a PV module is based on the cost of raw materials. After Chinese New Year, glass price has not fallen a bit from its autumn highs while polysilicon continues to soar and the prices have been rising across the entire PV supply chain.
Recently, from the bidding prices submitted by many Chinese power plant investors in 2021, it can be seen that the price of PV panels keeps rising across the board. The highest bid submitted by CNNC Nanjing for a 1.3GW PV project was more than 1.8 RMB/watt and the highest tender for a 7GW project submitted by China Huadian Corporation also reached 1.779 RMB/watt. Compared to the bidding price at the beginning of 2020, it has increased by 10% in only one year.
Here are the main reasons to explain the module price surged upward:
- Lack of raw materials including polysilicon, glass, EVA, sliver, due to still high demand. This
situation will continue and it may become even worse in the coming months until depressed
demand and climbed upstream capacity rebalances.
- Lack of Grade A cells due to size and production line switch. For some factories, using grade B cells can be 20% cheaper than grade A, which sometimes can explain low prices and
unfortunately can be seen only with EL tests.
Particularly the disrupted global supply of polysilicon has spread to solar cell and panel
production, in addition to the downstream business.
Polysilicon prices continued to rise sharply this month. Silicon for monocrystalline products rose to about 114.2 RMB/kg and the price for multicrystalline products has reached 63.3RMB/kg.
Consequently, wafer and cell prices ramped up by 25% over those of last year. The outlook for module prices is also clear, several major players have anonymously adjusted their pricing strategy and confirmed that increases are inevitable which has been witnessed in the latest bids in China.
It’s really hard at the moment to offer the same price as six months ago or earlier without sacrificing quality even for those highly vertical integrated manufacturers, let alone pure module makers or tier 2 players. So it’s important to pay attention to too attractive low prices and make sure that the panels used for your order are of good quality because poor grade and compromising quality raw materials are always available on the market.