China’s solar module exports surge on strong European demand

By Carrie Xiao


An operational solar plant in the Netherlands. The country accounted for 27% of Chinese module exports between January and September 2022. Image: Suntech.

Solar module export volumes from China between January and October 2022 were up 86% year-on-year amid strong demand in Europe.

That’s according to a new report from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, which revealed that China’s PV manufacturing output of silicon materials, silicon wafers, cells and modules during the nine months increased by more than 42%.

Silicon material output was 550,000 tons (a 52.8% increase year-on-year), silicon wafer output was 236GW (+43%), cell output was 209GW (+42.2%) and module output was 191GW (+46.9%).

In terms of destinations for Chinese modules, the Netherlands ranked first with 26.8%, followed by Brazil (11.5%) and India (7.3%). Export proportions to Spain, Germany and Poland also increased significantly.

However, when looking at monthly changes in export figures, Q4 shows a slowing trend.

In this context, the US, the European Union, India and others are actively promoting local manufacturing, with companies in these markets intending to overtake China by developing new technologies.

The US Department of Energy recently announced a US$20 million Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium aimed at expanding domestic production of cadmium telluride PV materials and modules to reduce the cost of cells.

In Europe, the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics was relaunched earlier this year. Due to run until 2025, the initiative will advise European policymakers and promote the development of PV technology.

Japanese companies regard perovskite products as a strong candidate for the new generation of solar cells as they strive to regain momentum in the PV product market.

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