China’s solar PV industry has been in recovery since 2013. The capacity utilization rate of PV firms has improved, the sector steadily continues to grow and new technologies have been developed, while the PV makers have seen their margins improve. Looking into 2016, the sector is expected to maintain growth, thanks to favorable policies and increasing market demand. The major developing trends are as follows:
1. China moves into first place in installed PV capacity
The global PV market recorded strong growth in 2015. China’s newly added installed capacity in 2015 is estimated at 16.5 GW, the highest worldwide for another year in a row, while the country’s total installed PV capacity is expected to exceed 43 GW, surpassing Germany’s to become the world leader.
2. The sector continues to grow while corporate profitability shows significant improvement
China’s polysilicon production stood at 162,000 tons, an increase of 19.1 percent year-on-year, while the country’s solar module production grew to 43 GW, an increase of 20.8 percent. In the first half of 2015, China’s module manufacturers achieved a growth of 8.9 percent in sales, 9.7 percent in net profit and 6.5 percent in average net margin. In 2016, worldwide polysilicon production is expected to reach 360,000 tons, of which China is expected to account for 180,000 tons.
3. Technologies continue to advance while production cost shrink
In 2015, the overall cost of production among Chinese PV makers shrunk to 90,000 yuan ($13,600) per ton, while the industry’s average comprehensive electricity consumption dropped to 100 kWh/kg. Looking into 2016, technological progress will remain the focus of the sector. The power of main module products is expected to climb to 265 w to 270 w.
4. Investment in the sector continues to rise while M&As and reorganizations accelerate
Chinese PV companies have completed plants overseas with an overall cell production capacity of 1.7 GW and module production capacity of 2.3 GW. This year, Chinese PV companies plan to speed up their expansion plans in emerging markets, while aggressively pushing ahead their strategies to expand their global presence by building plants overseas and acquiring foreign makers.
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