TopConMajor solar module manufacturers will be switching from industry-standard PERC to TopCon within the next few years. The industry standard PERC cells are already reaching the efficiency limit of around 24%. Numerous plans have been announced for TopCon as it is known to have better cost performance and is more compatible with existing cell production in terms of process, materials and equipment which makes it easier when compared to other technology. (PERC Technology). TOPCon is seen as an attractive replacement for the manufacturers currently operating PERC Production lines. (The China Photovoltaic Industry Association) CPIA states that it sees TOPCon taking the lead in the market share before 2024. Figure 1 shows the key difference between PERC and Topcon technology.
Supply chain pressure
In 2021, The Solar market saw a strong growth however, structural shortages remain in the supply chain, with polysilicon supply running short in the face of high demand and forced labor accusations, and a worsening trade war all hitting at once. With prices for many raw materials expected to remain 20-30% above 2019 levels through 2023, solar equipment manufacturers are looking for ways to optimize their supply chains to maximize growth while minimizing costs. It is also estimated that a high process for raw materials will likely increase the capital costs and LCOE costs. Among the research analyst community, the polysilicon process will remain quite high for some time through much of 2022 and by 2023, the polysilicon prices will eventually go down.
Market Size expected to grow despite supply chain issues
According to Grand View Research Inc, the solar energy market is expected to grow by USD 176.2 billion by 2027, escalating at a CAGR of 4.3% over the forecast period. The market is primarily driven by the growing adoption of clean energy systems in the utility, commercial, and residential sectors. This is due to the huge price difference between solar-generated electricity and retail electricity. It is expected that solar PV development will continue to break records, with annual additions reaching 162 GW by 2022 – almost 50% higher than the pre-pandemic level of 2019
Rise in rooftop solar panels process
With the post covid logistical issues, solar panel rooftop prices will not be coming down anytime soon. Global data a London-based analyst has predicted that market price rise will be seen till 2023. The report gives an evaluation of the solar rooftop market in detail and share of rooftop solar PV in the total solar PV cumulative capacity during the period 2012-2030. The report highlights the increase in temporary price is due to the delay in shipments, combined with a lack of availability of workforce. Government all over the world have been promoting policies and incentives, tax benefits for rooftop solar PV. This could help decrease the cost trend shortly.
Change in wafer size
More manufacturers are beginning to adopt larger wafer sizes to improve power output. The bigger the wafer, the more power it can generate because of its larger surface area. By removing space between smaller cells, larger wafers are more powerful in a given module. According to the report published by ITRPV M2 wafer will disappear within five years. M6 (166-mm) and larger wafer formats will make up 70% of the multi-crystalline market and 90% of the monocrystalline market by 2030. Some companies are planning to switch to M-10 (182 -mm) wafers by 2024. This trend will be followed by other manufacturers too.