PV Technology, Production and Cost Outlook: 2012-2016

PV Technology and Cost Outlook, 2013-2017

GTM, Date of Publication: Jun 19, 2013
US$3,995.00
GTM4414

The global PV industry's recent past has seen wafer, cell, and module suppliers at the mercy of an inhospitable supply-demand imbalance throughout the global market. With supply consistently 200% of demand annually, c-Si module prices have fallen approximately 70% in two years. One positive externality of this cutthroat pricing is that manufacturing costs have fallen in line with pricing declines. This is mostly because pricing for key inputs further up the value chain has also fallen as a result of overcapacity and consequent margin evaporation.

Back in 2009/10, industry roadmaps were targeting $1.00/W module costs as a medium-term goal. With best-in-class Chinese producers approaching costs of $0.50/W in 2013, yesterday’s goals are no longer relevant today. However, as noted, the majority of cost reduction over the last two years has been driven by declines in consumables prices. This state of affairs has left both manufacturers and their customers with considerable uncertainty, and there is currently little consensus on what is a realistic goal for the module supply chain to set for itself over the next three to five years. It is in the context of this lack of clarity that this report was conceived. 

FIGURE: Contribution of Key Drivers Toward Module Cost Reduction, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2010-Q4 2012

PV Technology, Production and Cost Outlook
Source: PV Technology and Cost Outlook, 2013-2017

This 112-page report on the latest in c-Si PV wafer, cell, module, and materials technology is the most recent analysis, and aims to provide a competitive outlook on the leading technology and cost trends through 2017 across the global PV supply chain. The report explores existing and innovative technology advancements in ingot growth, wafer slicing, cell processing, and module assembly, as well as their impacts on efficiencies and manufacturing costs.

The report then presents cost model through 2017 for polysilicon, wafer, cell and modules. Details on our cost model and forecast are below.

REPORT SCOPE: COST FORECAST MODELING

  • Goal: The goal of this new report is to provide a quantitative understanding of crystalline silicon PV manufacturing costs that is both comprehensive and granular. Rather than estimating costs across a variety of regions, technologies and producer profiles– as is done on a monthly basis in our Global PV Competitive Intelligence Tracker– the goal here is to focus on costs attained by best-in-class (meaning lowest-cost) China-based producers for benchmarking purposes. Examples of such producers would be Jinko Solar, Renesola, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy.
  • Time Period: Detailed cost breakdowns are estimated annually for the fourth quarter from 2011 to 2017.
  • Cost Elements: The cost centers covered in this report include the following: depreciation, materials/consumables, labor, utilities, and overhead (plant and property).
  • Technology Modeling: Manufacturing costs are estimated separately for monocrystalline and multicrystalline producers. Technology modeling assumes the incorporation of two advanced technology platforms– diamond wire sawing (wafer) and selective emitter (cell)– for assumed best-in-class mono producers from 2012 and 2013 onwards, respectively. Aside from this, the report assumes a fairly standard device architecture and process flow for ingot fabrication through module assembly in cost modeling.
  • Variance Analysis: Given the number of variables that affect module manufacturing cost structure and the uncertainty surrounding their future behavior (e.g., consumables pricing, manufacturer scale, technology parameters), the report supplements base-case cost forecasts with high- and low-case forecasts to place realistic upper and lower bounds on best-in-class module costs over the next five years.

FIGURE: Data Sources Consulted for Key Inputs

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Module Costs: The Road to 50 Cents a Watt and Beyond
1.2. Report Scope
1.3. Data Sources

2. CRYSTALLINE SILICON PV TECHNOLOGY
2.1. Polysilicon Production
2.2. Ingot Growth
2.2.1. Multicrystalline Silicon
2.2.2. Monocrystalline Silicon
2.2.3. Cast Monocrystalline (Quasi-Mono)
2.2.4. Continuous CZ Ingot Growth
2.3. Wafer Slicing
2.3.1. Diamond Wire
2.3.2. Ion Implantation
2.3.3. Other Thin Wafering Techniques
2.4. Cell Processing
2.4.1. Conventional Manufacturing Process
2.4.2. Selective Emitter
2.4.3. N-Type Cells
2.4.4. Heterojunction Cells
2.4.5. Back-Contact Cells
2.4.6. Metal Wrap-Through (MWT) Cells
2.4.7. Silver Reduction Techniques
2.5. Module Assembly
2.5.1. Frameless Modules

3. CELL AND MODULE EFFICIENCY
3.1. Research Cell Efficiencies
3.2. Commercial Cell vs. Module Efficiency
3.3. Current Commercial Efficiency Levels
3.3.1. Cells
3.3.2. Modules
3.4. Commercial Efficiency Forecasts
3.5. Cell to Module (CTM) Losses and Energy Yield
3.5.1. Losses
3.5.2. Gains

4. SILICON COSTS
4.1. Polysilicon Pricing
4.1.1. Recent Pricing Dynamics
4.1.2. Projected Prices
4.2. Silicon Utilization and Polysilicon Cost per Watt

5. PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT COSTS
5.1. Capital Equipment
5.2. Property and Plant Capex

6. INGOT/WAFER FABRICATION COSTS
6.1. Technology Parameters
6.2. Consumables Usage
6.3. Consumables Pricing
6.4. Utilities
6.5. Labor Intensity and Costs
6.6. Ingot/Wafer Processing Costs
6.6.1. By Cost Center
6.6.2. Historical Data Points
6.6.3. Cost Projections
6.7. All-In Wafer Cost
6.7.1. Technology Trends: Impact of Diamond Wire Sawing
6.7.2. Cost Projections

7. CELL PROCESSING COSTS
7.1. Technology Parameters
7.2. Consumables Usage
7.3. Consumables Pricing
7.4. Utilities Consumption
7.5. Labor Intensity
7.6. Cell Processing Costs
7.6.1. By Cost Center
7.6.2. Historical Data Points
7.6.3. Cost Projections

8. MODULE ASSEMBLY COSTS
8.1. Technology Parameters
8.2. Consumables Usage and Pricing
8.3. Utilities Consumption
8.4. Labor Intensity
8.4.1. By Cost Center
8.4.2. Historical Data Points
8.4.3. Cost Projections

9. ALL-IN MODULE MANUFACTURING COSTS
9.1. Historical Data Points
9.2. Projected Costs

10. SENSITIVITY AND VARIANCE ANALYSIS
10.1. Polysilicon Pricing
10.2. Silver Pricing
10.3. Cell and Module Efficiency
10.4. Plant Scale
10.5. Plant Utilization
10.6. Boundary Cases


LIST OF FIGURES


1. INTRODUCTION
Available Capacity Versus Demand, PV Modules, 2007-2013E
Jinko Solar Module Cost vs. Blended ASP, Q4 2010-Q4 2012
Contribution of Key Drivers Toward Module Cost Reduction, Best-in-Class China
Producer, Q4 2010-Q4 2012
Module Manufacturing Cost Scenario Outcome Analysis Input Parameters
(Base vs. Low vs. High Case)
Data Sources Consulted for Key Inputs

2. CRYSTALLINE SILICON PV TECHNOLOGY
Crystalline Silicon PV Value Chain
Multicrystalline Silicon Ingot Furnace Design
Monocrystalline Silicon Ingot Fabrication Process (Czochralski Process)
Cast/Quasi-Mono Ingot Formation
GT Advanced Technologies’ Ingot Growth Technology Cost/Efficiency Comparison
Slurry-Based Wire Sawing
Diamond Wire Sawing
Ion Implantation-Based Wafer Fabrication
Cell Fabrication Process
Key Features of Selective Emitter Technology
Key Benefits of Selective Emitter Technology
Selective Emitter Formation Approaches
Heterojunction Cell Structure
Probable SunPower Cell Design
Canadian Solar Metal Wrap-Through ELPS Cell
Crystalline Silicon Module Assembly Process Flow
Typical Crystalline Silicon Module Structure
Market Segments Served by Frameless and Plastic-Framed Modules, Associated
Cost Issues, and Companies Selling Into Each Segment

3. CELL AND MODULE EFFICIENCY
Best Research Cell Efficiencies, 1975-2012
Commercial Peak Cell Efficiencies, Selected Producers, H2 2012
Commercial Peak Module Efficiencies, Selected Producers, H2 2012
Cell Efficiency, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Module Efficiency, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Cell-to-Module Power Ratio, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E

4. SILICON COSTS
Spot and Blended Polysilicon Pricing, Q2 2011-Q1 2013
Blended Polysilicon ASP, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Polysilicon Price Forecast Variance, Q4 2013E-Q4 2017E
Silicon Utilization and Polysilicon Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Mono c-Si Producer,
Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Silicon Utilization and Polysilicon Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Multi c-Si Producer,
Q4 2011-Q4 2017E

5. PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT COSTS
Capital Equipment Cost per Watt by Value Chain, China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Property and Plant Capital Cost per Watt by Value Chain, China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E

6. INGOT/WAFER FABRICATION COSTS
Technology Parameter Assumptions, Ingot Fabrication
Technology Parameter Assumptions, Wafer Slicing
Materials Usage Assumptions, Ingot Fabrication
Materials Usage Assumptions, Wafer Fabrication
Ingot and Wafer Consumables Pricing, China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Utility Rates, China, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Utilities Consumption Assumptions, Ingot/Wafer Conversion
Labor Rates, Line Workers and Manufacturing Engineers, China, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Labor Intensity, Ingot and Wafer Fabrication, China, 2011-2014E
Labor Intensity, Ingot and Wafer Fabrication, China, 2015E-2017E
Multi Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost Structure, Q4 2012, Best-in-Class China Manufacturer, 1 GW
Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Q4 2010-Q4 2012, GCL-Poly and Renesola
Q4 2011-2012 Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Actual vs. Estimated, Best-in-Class Chinese Producers
Mono Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Best-in-Class 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Best-in-Class 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer (Increasing Scale), Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi c-Si Ingot Processing Cost Build-up, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi c-Si Wafer Processing Cost Build-up, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
All-in Wafer Cost by Technology, 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2012
All-In Wafer Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer, Increasing Scale, Q4 2011-Q4 2017

7. CELL PROCESSING COSTS
Technology Parameter Assumptions, Cell Processing
Materials Usage Assumptions, Cell Fabrication
Utilities Consumption Assumptions, Cell Processing
Labor Intensity of Cell Processing – China
Multi c-Si Cell Processing Cost Structure, Q4 2012, Best-in-Class China Manufacturer, 1 GW
Cell Processing Cost, China Sunergy, Q1 2010-Q4 2012
Q4 2011-2012 Cell Processing Cost, Actual vs. Estimated, China Sunergy
Multi c-Si Cell Processing Cost, Best-in-Class 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Mono c-Si Cell Processing Cost, Best-in-Class 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Cell Processing Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer (Increasing Scale), Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi c-Si Cell Processing Cost Build-Up, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E

8. MODULE ASSEMBLY COSTS
Technology Parameter Assumptions, Module Assembly
Module Materials Usage Assumptions
Consumables Pricing, Module Assembly, China, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Utilities Consumption, Module Assembly
Module Assembly Labor Intensity, China
Multi c-Si Module Processing Cost Structure, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2012
China Sunergy Module Processing Cost, Q4 2010-Q4 2012
China Sunergy and Canadian Solar Module Processing Cost, Actual vs. Estimated, Q4 2011- Q4 2012
Multi c-Si Module Processing Cost, Best-in-Class 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Module Processing Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer (Increasing Scale), Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi c-Si Module Assembly Cost Build-up, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E

9. ALL-IN MODULE MANUFACTURING COSTS
Jinko Solar All-In Module Manufacturing Cost, Actual vs. Estimated, Q4 2010-Q4 2012
All-In Multi c-Si Module Manufacturing Cost by Value Chain, 1 GW Vertically
Integrated Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
All-In Multi c-Si Module Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer (Increasing Scale),
Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Contribution of Key Drivers Toward All-In Module Cost Reduction, Best-in-Class
China Producer, Q4 2012-Q4 2017E

10. SENSITIVITY AND VARIANCE ANALYSIS
Silicon $/W Cost Sensitivity to Polysilicon Price, Q4 2013E vs. Q4 2017E
Cell Processing Cost Sensitivity to Paste Price, Q4 2010 vs. Q4 2017E
All-In Multi c-Si Module Cost Sensitivity to Efficiency, China Producer, Q4 2013E
All-In Module Cost Sensitivity to Plant Scale, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2013E
All-In Module Cost, Fixed vs. Increasing Scale, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Impact of Plant Utilization on All-In Module Cost, China Producer, Q4 2013E
Boundary Case Analysis Input Assumptions
Labor Rates, Line Workers and Manufacturing Engineers, China, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Labor Intensity, Ingot and Wafer Fabrication, China, 2011-2014E
Labor Intensity, Ingot and Wafer Fabrication, China, 2015E-2017E
Multi Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost Structure, Q4 2012, Best-in-Class China Manufacturer, 1 GW
Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Q4 2010-Q4 2012, GCL-Poly and Renesola
Q4 2011-2012 Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Actual vs. Estimated, Best-in-Class Chinese Producers
Mono Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Best-in-Class 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Best-in-Class 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Ingot/Wafer Processing Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer (Increasing Scale), Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi c-Si Ingot Processing Cost Build-up, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
Multi c-Si Wafer Processing Cost Build-up, Best-in-Class China Producer, Q4 2011-Q4 2017E
All-in Wafer Cost by Technology, 1 GW China Producer, Q4 2012
All-In Wafer Cost, Best-in-Class Chinese Producer, Increasing Scale, Q4 2011-Q4 2017


 

 

Date of Publication:
Jun 19, 2013
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