Long-term prospects of photovoltaics seen bright


Stiff competition: A worker operates a machinery to clean solar panels at a photovoltaic industrial park in Hami, Xinjiang. Despite challenges brought by technology evolution, the industry is confident of uptrend in demand. — Reuters

BEIJING: Chinese solar companies say they remain optimistic about the long-term prospects of the photovoltaic (PV) sector, despite its complex industry environment at home and abroad, including profit cuts and trade policy adjustments.

Longi Green Energy Technology, one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, said it will continuously adjust its production plans in response to market changes.

“We acknowledge the challenges brought by price declines, technology evolution and trade policy shifts. Longi remains optimistic about the long-term prospects of the solar PV industry and will continue to invest in talent cultivation, innovation and new manufacturing systems,” it said in a statement.

The solar power sector has been facing a significant reduction in prices, driven by technological advancements that lead to high-performance photovoltaic cells, economies of scale achieved by leading Chinese solar companies, global supply chain improvements and increased competition among manufacturers.

In response, Longi said the company has upgraded digital technology across multiple sites all over the world in order to deploy next-generation solar PV technology and digital systems, and that it is firmly optimistic about the long-term uptrend of the global photovoltaic industry.

The United States last month unveiled steep tariff hikes on Chinese imports, including solar panels, electric vehicles and batteries.

Meanwhile, the sector’s rapid expansion in China has led to overcapacity and fierce competition, weighing down prices and companies’ profits.

Leading solar companies have been stepping up investment in research to stand out from fierce competition through technological advantages.

After Longi said in November that the efficiency of its crystalline silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells had reached 33.9%, a world record, another solar giant JA Solar Technology introduced earlier this year its latest n-type modules designed for offshore photovoltaic applications, featuring a 635 watts power output and 22.8% module efficiency.

This is expected to cater to the evolving needs of the solar industry, a strategic step toward providing efficient and reliable solutions for offshore solar power.

The company has been continuously improving its digital management at its large-scale wind and photovoltaic bases, especially in the Gobi Desert and wasteland areas, to facilitate the development and utilisation of renewable energy, it said.

According to an analyst, China is offering more options to the global market and ensuring equal opportunities for everyone to access green energy as it promotes green energy development worldwide.

“China’s ample production capacity has alleviated the burden on other countries and regions by lowering production costs and aiding technological development,” said Ma Yinqiong, a senior analyst specialising in materials supply chains at global consultancy Rystad Energy.

She pointed out that while costs remain the biggest challenge, particularly for underdeveloped regions, China’s raw materials have enabled these regions to lower expenses and expedite the construction of green production capacity.

China’s large-scale and standardised industrial technology has also accelerated the greening process in developed countries and regions, she added. — China Daily/ANN

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