Tight supply and strong demand for multicrystalline wafers, and overcapacity and weak demand for monocrystalline market, are leading to closer price convergence of the two wafer types, according to Taiwan-based market research firm, EnergyTrend.
EnergyTrend said that it estimated global mono wafer capacity stood at around 15GW but demand in 2015 would not reach 10GW, causing prices to fall from US$1.04/pc at the start of this year to the current price of US$0.92~0.93/pc.
In comparison, multi wafer prices had reached RMB 6.15/pc in China and are moving towards US$0.84/pc in Taiwan. However, prices in China for some mainstream mono cell products are now at around RMB 2.35/W, matching the prices of multi-Si cells for the first time.
But the market research firm said it expected mono wafer capacity to increase by around 20% in 2016, due to increased demand.
EnergyTrend said greater acceptance of mono-Si products in the PV power plant market would be a key driver of this.
Another is that, according to EnergyTrend, PV cell manufacturers have found that passivated emitter rear cell (PERC) technology, a cell production process that is being increasingly widely used, produces better efficiency results on mono-Si cells than multi. PERC solutions from different companies are expected to drive the mono-Si market next year when they have become more mature, EnergyTrend said.