Solar, Storage

Silicon Production On the Rise in China

According to statistics released by the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, factories across the country produced 143,000 tons of polycrystalline silicon during the first half of this year, a year-over-year increase of 24 percent. Silicon chips manufactured soared to 50 GW during the same period, up 38.9 percent, of which 52.7 percent were for monocrystalline. Battery chips coming off production lines totaled 39 GW, up 21.9, of which, 41 percent were monocrystalline. Output of battery components reached 42 GW, up 23.5 percent. 

During the same period, 24 GW of new PV installation capacity was added, almost the same as the first half of the previous year. Of the total, 12.2 GW were distributed PV, up 72 percent. The country’s PV sector generated 82.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, up 59 percent. The curtailment rate of PV power systems stood at 3.6 percent, while curtailment volume reached 3.04 billion kilowatts, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points or 710 million kilowatt-hours. 

China imported 67,000 tons of polycrystalline silicon during the period, a decrease of 4.3 percent. 

Exports of battery chips and components grew to US $5.51 billion during the first five months of this year, an increase of 21.2 percent year on year. Of the total, US $353 million were battery chips while US $5.16 billion were battery components. 

Despite new policies for the PV sector issued by the Chinese government on May 31, 2018 that were not in all respects beneficial, several PV companies across the country experienced growth in net profit during the first half. To cite a few examples, Zhejiang Jingsheng Mechanical & Electrical booked revenue amounting to 1.24 billion yuan (approx. US $179 million) for the first half, up 53.8 percent from a year earlier. The company’s net profit attributable to the parent company amounted to 285 million yuan (approx. US $41.1 million) for the same period, up 101 percent. Net cash flow from operating activities more than doubled to 153 million yuan (approx. US $22.1 million), compared to 72 million yuan (approx. US $10.4 million) for the same period of last year. LONGi generated 10.0 billion yuan (approx. US $1.44 billion) in operating and 1.31 billion yuan (approx. US $189 million) in net profit attributable to the parent company, up 59.4 percent and 5.73 percent, respectively.