From pv magazine global
pv magazine: How did the global market for PV installations develop in 2022?
Jenny Chase: We have been surprised by the strong build in China, especially for residential and commercial – we initially expected 99 GW new build in China this year and have upped that to 126 GW (DC). Our current estimate for the year’s build is 268 GW (DC). Europe has bought a lot of modules – well over 72 GW – though we expect it has only installed around 42 GW, so there is considerable inventory.
What were the biggest surprises for you this year?
How high polysilicon and module prices have remained right up to the end of the year, indicating strong buying activity counteracting the effect of increased supply. We were also surprised the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed in the United States. The incentives in the law are very generous.
Will a shortage of components affect the development of global PV markets?
It’s still not as easy as it could be to get transformers and inverters, and module prices must continue to fall. But these are not major bottlenecks.
What price development do you expect in the coming year?
We expect the polysilicon price to fall from the current $35/kg to $10-$15/kg next year, and free-on-board (FOB) module prices to $0.22/W in markets without major trade barriers.
How will the expansion figures develop in 2023 throughout the world – especially in Europe?
We expect 316 GW new build worldwide, and 48 GW in Europe next year.
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With the changes in Net Metering going on, from California to other states, how will you be able to count the installed solar when many homes and business will go “off-grid” with no interconnections to Utilites to count? Will you use retail sales of solar panels from all sources that sell them including E-bay, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and the like rather than from solar installers? Many solar panels are low voltage and sold for “off-grid” 12-volt, 24-volt and 48-volt systems that are not installed by contractors but by handymen or even homeowners. Low voltage systems, under 50 volts are exempt from the National Electrical Code under article 720 of the NEC yet can power all the electrical needs of a home or Recreational Vehicle. Connecting to a utility is not required for the IRA incentives and with utilities not allowing connections or stealing 75% of the output of grid connected systems, off-grid will become he major growth among rooftop solar adopters in the future. Just like cell phones have eliminated half of the hard-wired phone services in the country, Off-grid solar will eliminate half of the loads the grid connected utilities will have as a customer base as well. You will need to start counting all the “off grid” rated solar panels as well as the “grid tied” rated ones that you currently use. in your forecasts and actual builds.
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