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China’s solar exports up 64% in 2022, will continue to dominate global PV manufacturing May 25, 2023

Image: Encore Renewable Energy

Wood Mackenzie's latest study reveals that as global consumers and developers of solar energy continue to increase their demand, China's exports of photovoltaic products keep rising. To a certain extent, this is due to China's advantages of low energy costs, significant scale advantages, and government support, which make Chinese manufactured solar modules highly competitive in comparison to other markets. PV mounting systems and other related products, as key solar energy systems components, also benefit from this growth trend.

The research shows that Chinese module exports increased from 108GW in 2021 to 154GW last year, with a growth rate of 42%. The cost of PV modules manufactured in China was 57% lower than that of PV modules produced in the United States and Europe. This has had a positive impact on the market demand for PV mounting systems and other related products from China.

China’s local module manufacturing cost last year was only US$0.24 per watt, significantly lower than the US (US$0.56), Europe (US$0.52), and India (US$0.33). Southeast Asia’s manufacturing cost was close to China as it stood at US$0.26 per watt.

Without subsidies, solar module manufacturing in the United States and Europe cannot compete with China. As the Chinese photovoltaic industry grows, market demand for PV mounting systems and other related products is expected to remain strong.

Image: Xcel

Wood Mackenzie predicts that by 2026, China's export capacity for upstream wafers and cells will grow to over 230GW, higher than the global market demand (excluding China) of 170GW. In addition, China's available module export capacity is also expected to gradually grow to 149GW by 2026. This suggests that the global market share of Chinese-branded PV mounting systems and related products is likely to expand further.

Despite attempts by the United States, European Union, and Indian policies to challenge China's dominance in the photovoltaic manufacturing sector, the Chinese photovoltaic industry appears to maintain a sustainable growth trajectory, driven by factors such as market scale and supply chain advantages. The continuous increase in demand for PV mounting systems and other vital products provides Chinese companies with ongoing growth opportunities.

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