Chinese PV Industry Brief: Longi was the world’s largest module manufacturer in 2021


According to Taiwanese market research company PVInfolink, Chinese PV module manufacturer Longi was the world's largest panel provider in 2021. The company was followed by Trina Solar, JA Solar, and JinkoSolar, with the latter losing the first position reached a year earlier. Canadian Solar and Risen reached the fifth and sixth positions, respectively, followed by two non-Chinese producers, Hanwha Q Cells and First Solar. Another two Chinese providers, Suntech and Chint, ranked number nine and 10, respectively. According to PVInfolink,  the top 10 manufacturers accounted for over 160GW of shipments for a global market share of 90% in 2021.

Soaring demand for polysilicon last year is expected to see manufacturer GCL-Poly complete a stunning 12-month turnaround, the company announced yesterday. GCL expects the RMB5.7 billion (US$900 million) net loss it posted in 2020 to have become an RMB5 billion (US$789 million) net profit by the end of December, with the annual figures expected to be confirmed at the end of March. That remarkable figure came on the back of demand which outstripped supply of the solar panel raw material, which fetched higher prices as a result. GCL said 18% of last year’s polysilicon output was based on the company’s less energy-intensive granular material and added, 20,000 of the 30,000 tons of annual granular production capacity it constructed last year is already operational with the balance due online next month. The poly maker said its solar materials division is expected to have recorded an RMB5.4 billion (US$853 million) profit last year, following a loss of RMB4.9 billion (US$774 million) a year earlier. The company’s figures were dragged by the performance of its GCL New Energy solar project development business, which sold off 4GW of its 5GW solar project generation capacity in 2021. Those sales, though, also reduced debt repayments. With no repeat of 2020’s one-off impairment costs, GCL said losses at its New Energy business unit last year would be around half the RMB1.22 billion (US$193 million) shed in 2020.

Energy company Tian Lun Gas has announced a strategic co-operation agreement with state-owned utility PowerChina to develop renewable generation, including photovoltaics. PV sites will be identified and developed by the partners, along with energy storage, wind, and biogas facilities, and PowerChina’s gas vehicle filling stations will have solar installed as part of a transformation into smart charging stations, Tian Lun Gas said on Friday. The partners will also establish industrial parks for the energy-intensive industry to maximize industrial heat networks and the reuse of waste gas and liquids. The partnership will encompass the development of smart cities, Tian Lun Gas said, in part drawing upon its “rich natural gas market advantages.”

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