Monocrystalline solar prices fall

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During The Smarter E last week, there was a lot of speculation and some fresh numbers about how the prices for modules, cells, wafers and silicon will evolve.

As pv magazine has learned, prices for multicrystalline PV products in particular have caved recently. Today, PVInsights has also provided an update which shows that the prices for monocrystalline products have also fallen sharply in the past few days.

Price erosion is particularly strong for monocrystalline wafers, which are manufactured mostly in China. According to research by PVInsights, the spot market price in China for these products was between $0.432 and $0.434 per piece – a decline of 11% and nearly 12%, respectively, within a week.

Spot market prices for monocrystalline PERC solar cells have also fallen in recent days. Here, prices dropped around 8.5% to $0.172 per watt. Concurrently, prices for other types of solar cells continue to fall, dropping between 2% and 6%.

At the module level, PVInsights shows that multicrystalline products continue to experience greater pressure. The average price of multicrystalline solar modules, for example, continued to decline by nearly 3%, to $0.27 per watt, with prices ranging from $0.24 to $0.41 per watt.

The average spot market prices for monocrystalline solar modules, meanwhile, fell by almost 2% to $0.352 per watt, ranging from $0.31 to $0.55 per watt; and the prices for thin film modules and high efficiency multicrystalline modules are currently moving between the two ranges.

Polysilicon prices are being similarly affected. Average costs are now around $11.29 per kilogram, while the lowest spot market prices for polysilicon reported by PVInsights are $9.85 per kilogram.

These declines could have wide-ranging consequences globally, both upstream and downstream. The fall in prices could affect the expansion plans of LONGi, the world’s largest monocrystalline ingot and wafer maker, and could put pressure on U.S. module makers including First Solar who are now competing with lower-cost Chinese products.

Downstream, the fall in prices is expected to drive more solar development.