Polysilicon price dip increases global solar installations


Global solar installations are on track for 222 GW of installations during 2022, and manufacturing output shows that next year this will rise by even more as solar manufacturing surges, according to a new report from research and development company Rethink Energy.

The report – ‘Solar installs erupt as Polysilicon price peaks’ – says that, with the price of polysilicon falling through the year, global solar installations have dramatically increased, demonstrating that the solar industry has shaken off the drag of high polysilicon pricing. It is hoped that this means prices will be back in step with solar ambition during 2023.

However, two key geographical segments of the world are actually installing solar more slowly than last year. The most worrying, said Rethink Energy, is the US, which has been partially curtailed by the actions of the US Commerce Department and its anti-dumping action, and doubly affected by slow execution now that the Inflation Reduction Act has been passed, as developers all stand in line waiting for subsidies. Subsidies are not expected to emerge until well into the second half of 2023, and even then, only if projects can re-engineer their supply chain.

The other segment is the East Asian Periphery – where Japan and South Korea struggle to find land for utility solar installs, or to develop a coherent transition strategy.

Rethink Energy numbers show that in the third quarter of 2022, the world installed 54 gigawatts (GW) of new solar capacity – a 37.8 per cent year-on-year increase. In total, some 142.5 GW of solar was installed in the first nine months of the year, almost at par with the entirety of 2021. Rethink Energy’s forecast shows that 222 GW will be installed through 2022, with a year-on-year growth rate of 35 per cent.

China is the most rapidly growing region, which is spreading its solar projects over hundreds of municipalities. During the first nine months of 2022, China installed 52 GW – almost the same as it installed throughout 2021, which reached 54.88 GW for the year. Rethink Energy expects China to install as much as 42 GW in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, taking its annual total to 94 GW some and making up 42 per cent of all new global installations.

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