China Energy Daily (24th edition, May 20, 2013)
On May 14th, the 7th 2013 International Solar Energy Industry and Photovoltaic Engineering (Shanghai) Exhibition (hereinafter referred to as "SNEC") was held as scheduled at the Shanghai New International Expo Center. Compared to the continuous expansion of exhibition scale in recent years, especially the record number of exhibitors last year, the exhibition scale and number of exhibitors have significantly decreased this year.
However, as a company executive said, "Although the exhibition area is smaller, there are fewer participating companies, and the exhibition effect is better; there are fewer visitors, fewer people who are fooling around, and more people who are truly engaged in business." Several industry insiders interviewed also believe that this indicates that the photovoltaic industry is bidding farewell to the long-term chaotic state and entering a stable track of rational development.
Our reporter learned from the organizer that this year's Shanghai Photovoltaic Exhibition has a total of 13 exhibition halls, with an exhibition area of approximately 150000 square meters and approximately 1500 exhibitors; Last year, there were 17 exhibition halls, 200000 square meters of exhibition area, and about 2000 attending enterprises. In comparison, the scale of this exhibition has significantly shrunk.
At the exhibition site, the reporter noticed that in addition to some of the booths being quite popular, there were also quite a few booths with empty doors. The arrogant faces that were seen everywhere in the past have basically disappeared, and the service personnel of the previously towering photovoltaic giant booth clearly have a much more polite attitude.
In fact, the reason for this situation is not unrelated to the current sluggish industry background. In recent years, due to the shrinking demand market and the launch of "double anti" investigations by Europe and America on China's photovoltaic products, China's photovoltaic industry has begun to fall into survival difficulties and entered a period of industrial integration.
According to data released by well-known energy information consulting company Yi'enfu, due to overcapacity in the photovoltaic supply chain, the average selling price of photovoltaic products has decreased, forcing more than 350 Chinese solar photovoltaic companies to stop production in 2012. Among them, the number of photovoltaic module manufacturers has decreased the most, from 624 in 2011 to 454 at the end of 2012, a decrease of 170. This can provide sufficient basis for a significant reduction in the number of participating enterprises.
In the view of an industry authority, China's photovoltaic industry is still in the period of integration, and it is likely that the integration will be completed by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan, when the entire industry can usher in a healthy development situation. Based on this, he admitted to reporters that with the continuous integration of the industry, it is expected that the scale will further shrink next year.
In danger, there are opportunities
Although most of the exhibitions reflect a scene of industrial depression, this does not mean that the photovoltaic industry has no hope. Just as the meaning of "crisis" itself, there is still unlimited business opportunities hidden behind the "crisis" of the industry.
This judgment is not subjective speculation, but has its objective basis. This should lead to the huge space in the photovoltaic application market. According to Wang Zhongying, Director of the National Renewable Energy Center, the global photovoltaic market size is expected to remain around 30GW in 2013, with the European market approaching the 2012 level of 10-15GW and the Chinese market targeting 10GW according to the government's target.
In the long run, the installation target for China during the 12th Five Year Plan period has been raised from 21GW to 35GW, which also leaves ample space for the domestic photovoltaic installation market. According to the global photovoltaic market trends predicted by Solar Buzz, from 2013 to 2017, the global photovoltaic market demand was 233.4GW, and China will become the largest photovoltaic market in the future, accounting for 22% of the global market share.
In addition, according to Shi Dinghuan, a counselor of the State Council and chairman of the China Renewable Energy Society, although there has been a surplus of midstream products such as photovoltaic panels and modules in China, it is not a comprehensive surplus of the entire industry chain in terms of the industry.
Shi Dinghuan told China Energy News that more than half of the upstream polycrystalline silicon raw materials are imported from abroad; Key production equipment is mostly monopolized by foreign companies. And most downstream system integrators, operators, etc. are also located abroad. This indicates that once we make a reasonable layout of the industrial chain and strengthen the existing weak links, there are not no opportunities for development.
Fortunately, some leading enterprises have begun to make progress. For example, the efficient polysilicon chip product launched by GCL Poly, Xinpolysilicon S3, has increased the average efficiency of photoelectric conversion by 0.3% - 0.4% compared with S2, and the concentration ratio of efficiency distribution has increased by more than 15%, and the performance of silicon chips has been greatly improved again; Chase Electric, which has a foothold in the power plant EPC industry, has developed a Magic System that effectively improves the efficiency of photovoltaic power generation after years of practice and exploration. Using this system, photovoltaic power plants can increase their power generation by more than 10% and significantly increase their investment return.
Still waiting for policy "awesome"
The prospect is promising, but in the journey of dreams into reality, relevant departments also need to constantly introduce awesome policies.
Taking the 10GW photovoltaic installation target set by the Chinese government this year as an example, its implementation is still full of challenges. Wang Zhongying believes that the key to achieving this lies in whether the electricity price policy is reasonable; whether the subsidy procedures can be simplified and intermediate links can be reduced; whether power grid enterprises can bear the collection and distribution of renewable energy subsidy funds; and whether the technology and management issues of distributed access to the grid can be comprehensively solved
Therefore, he proposed that in order to address the challenges faced by the photovoltaic industry, relevant government departments should do the following: firstly, the relationship between subsidies and the market needs to be further rationalized, and subsidy mechanisms that comply with market laws can coordinate the relationship between expanding the market and controlling the development scale; Secondly, clear development goals and future price standards should be proposed. Transparent rules can help enterprises better formulate development plans and avoid overcooling or overheating; The third is to eliminate trade barriers. The harm caused by sanctions measures affects the markets of both countries, and the government should consider how to reduce trade friction in order to win common development.
In the view of Chen Jianguo, Chairman of Chase Sun Electric, the photovoltaic industry urgently needs to create a sound and clear policy environment, the most important of which is to enable enterprises to enjoy profitable and reasonable grid electricity pricing policies. Their demands can be supported by the "Research Report on China's Photovoltaic Classified Grid Tariff Policy" released during the exhibition.
This report is chaired and completed by the Renewable Energy Professional Committee of the China Association for Comprehensive Utilization of Resources. According to its content, China's four types of resource zones should implement electricity price policies of 0.8 yuan/kWh, 0.9 yuan/kWh, 1.0 yuan/kWh, and 1.1 yuan/kWh respectively.
Meanwhile, the report suggests that the partitioned electricity prices for distributed photovoltaic self use should be implemented according to the standards of 1.0 yuan/kWh, 1.15 yuan/kWh, 1.25 yuan/kWh, and 1.35 yuan/kWh, respectively. A person familiar with the policy further explained that there should be three types of electricity subsidies, namely 0.2 yuan/kWh for industrial and commercial users, 0.4 yuan/kWh for large industrial users, and 0.6 yuan/kWh for residents, hospitals, schools, and rural areas who enjoy preferential electricity price subsidies. The above electricity prices can be adjusted every two years based on changes in sales electricity prices. The surplus of self use for three types of projects will be purchased by the power grid company at the local benchmark price of thermal power, and a unified subsidy of 0.35 yuan/kWh will be provided by the government. "The person also revealed to our reporter that a unified opinion has been formed on the subsidy policy for the above electricity prices among all parties. If this policy can be implemented, it will undoubtedly become a strong catalyst for promoting healthy and sustainable industrial development.
In addition, for the current low period, the support of the financial industry is crucial for the photovoltaic industry. Accordingly, Chen Jianguo suggested that, in accordance with the provisions of the Renewable energy law, "financial institutions can provide preferential loans with financial discount interest for renewable energy development and utilization projects that are listed in the national renewable energy industry development guidance directory and meet the credit conditions", in order to prevent the loss of domestic photovoltaic enterprises due to the rupture of the capital chain.