Current development analysis of solar photovoltaic power generation
In the research and development of solar photovoltaic cell products, China has successively developed crystalline silicon (monocrystalline, polycrystalline) high-efficiency cells, amorphous silicon thin-film cells, cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium selenium (CIS), polycrystalline silicon thin-film cells, The technical level of silver paste development work for thermal batteries, etc. has been continuously improved, and individual projects (laser grooved buried grid batteries) have reached or approached the international level. At the same time, the research and development of solar polysilicon materials and solar cell/module supporting materials (silver, aluminum paste, EVA, etc.) have also been carried out, so that China’s solar photovoltaic technology and industry can develop in an all-round way.
Similar to the global photovoltaic market, solar photovoltaic cells produced in China are mainly crystalline silicon cells. Taking 2007 as an example, the output of crystalline silicon cells was 1059.7MWp, accounting for 97% of the total output; the output of amorphous silicon cells was 28.3MWp, accounting for only 3% of the total output.
Solar cells must be packaged into modules before they can be used. Module packaging is an important link in the photovoltaic industry chain, and it is also a relatively labor-intensive link in the industry chain. There are a total of more than 200 companies in China that have built component packaging lines. The packaging capacity in 2007 was about 3800MWp. The component packaging capacity is far greater than the battery production capacity. The labor costs in China are relatively low, so some foreign batteries enter China for packaging, making the output of photovoltaic modules higher than the output of batteries.
Driven by the demand of the photovoltaic market, there are currently more than 70 solar-grade silicon bond/silicon wafer manufacturers. In 2007, the total output of solar-grade monocrystalline silicon ingots and polycrystalline silicon ingots were 8070t and 3740t, respectively, with annual growth rates of 77% and 231%, respectively. This shows that the production of solar-grade silicon ingots in China has gradually shifted from monocrystalline to polycrystalline in the early stage, and is approaching the world’s mainstream trend.
From the early 1970s to the end of the 1980s, due to the high cost of batteries and the low overall strength of the country, the application of solar cells on the ground was very limited. After the 1990s, with the gradual formation of China’s photovoltaic industry, the reduction of battery costs, and the improvement of national economic strength, the application scope and scale of solar photovoltaic cells have gradually expanded, and after entering the 21st century, they have begun to develop rapidly. A key project in development is the “Electricity-free Township Plan in Western Provinces and Regions” initiated by the State Planning Commission in 2002, which uses photovoltaic and small-scale wind power to solve the electricity problem of more than 700 non-electricity townships in seven western provinces (Tibet, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi and Sichuan). The state invested 2 billion yuan and the amount of photovoltaic cells reached 15.5MWp, which greatly stimulated the development of the photovoltaic industry.
China’s photovoltaic power generation market mainly has the following aspects. Communication and industrial applications (about 36%): microwave relay stations, optical cable communication systems, satellite communication and satellite TV systems; electricity consumption in rural and remote areas (approximately 43%): independent photovoltaic power stations in villages, household power supply systems, etc.; solar products (approximately 17%): solar street lights, courtyard lights, calculators, electric cars, yachts, etc.; grid-connected power generation system (approximately 4%): Integrated photovoltaic power generation system (BIPV) with buildings, large-scale desert photovoltaic power plants, etc. According to incomplete statistics, the total installed capacity of BIPV domestic off-grid and grid-connected solar photovoltaic power generation systems so far is about 54MWp.
In December 2008, Yunnan Province and Qinghai Province announced that they would start construction of power plants with a total installed capacity of 166MW and 1GW (1000MW) in Kunming and Qaidam Basin, respectively. After the completion of the 1GW power station in Qinghai’s Qaidam Basin, it may become the world’s largest grid-connected photovoltaic power station.