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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:00 PM

Chinese Companies Projected To Make Solar Panels for 42 Cents Per Watt In 2015

Chinese Companies Projected To Make Solar Panels for 42 Cents Per Watt In 2015




Future cost drops from Chinese crystalline silicon solar producers will not be as steep as recent years, but they will still be significant.
Stephen Lacey, via GreenTechMedia

The cost of producing a conventional crystalline silicon (c-si) solar panel continues to drop. Between 2009 and 2012, leading “best-in-class” Chinese c-Si solar manufacturers reduced module costs by more than 50 percent. And in the next three years, those players — companies like Jinko, Yingli, Trina and Renesola — are on a path to lower costs by another 30 percent.

...“Clearly, the magnitude of cost reductions will be less than in previous years. But we still do see potential for significant cost reductions. Going from 53 cents to 42 cents is noteworthy,” says Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM Research.

With plenty of innovation still occurring in crystalline silicon PV manufacturing — including new sawing techniques, thinner wafers, conductive adhesives, and frameless modules — companies are able to squeeze more pennies off the cost of each panel. However, as the chart above shows, innovating “outside the module” to reduce the installed cost of solar will be increasingly important as companies find it harder to realize cost reductions in manufacturing.


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/02/17/1604661/chinese-companies-projected-to-make-solar-panels-for-42-cents-per-watt-in-2015/

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Reply Chinese Companies Projected To Make Solar Panels for 42 Cents Per Watt In 2015 (Original post)
kristopher Feb 2013 OP
AtheistCrusader Feb 2013 #1
kristopher Feb 2013 #2
CRH Feb 2013 #4
AtheistCrusader Feb 2013 #5
CRH Feb 2013 #7
msongs Feb 2013 #3
dbackjon Feb 2013 #8
kristopher Feb 2013 #11
dbackjon Feb 2013 #12
kristopher Feb 2013 #17
dbackjon Feb 2013 #18
FBaggins Feb 2013 #6
OnlinePoker Feb 2013 #9
kristopher Feb 2013 #10
dbackjon Feb 2013 #13
NNadir Feb 2013 #14
OnlinePoker Feb 2013 #15
kristopher Feb 2013 #16
joshcryer Feb 2013 #19
kristopher Feb 2013 #20
joshcryer Feb 2013 #21
kristopher Feb 2013 #22
joshcryer Feb 2013 #23
kristopher Feb 2013 #24
joshcryer Feb 2013 #25
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply .
kristopher Feb 2013 #26
joshcryer Feb 2013 #27
kristopher Feb 2013 #28
joshcryer Feb 2013 #29
kristopher Feb 2013 #30
kristopher Feb 2013 #31

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:24 PM

1. There's space for saving in battery and inverter technologies as well.

Also, making these cells double as roofing tiles, being impermeable, giving a homeowner more bang for the buck, since most PV systems aren't 'steered' anyway.

Current and projected PV prices are making me re-think my earlier position that PV is non-viable compared to concentrating solar.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:40 PM

2. The balance of system costs in the US really need work

I agree with you and the examples you've proffered - there are still many technical opportunities to improve the overall delivered cost of electricity from solar. This makes the case that there is a lot of policy work involved also.
$2.24/Watt vs $4.44/Watt: Solar in Germany vs Solar in the US
June 2012

As reported previously, Germany had about 21.6 times more solar power installed per capita at the end of 2011 than the US (301.47 MW per million people versus 13.973 MW per million people). In absolute numbers, Germany had about 5.63 times more solar power installed (24,678 MW versus 4,383 MW). These differences also translate into big differences in solar costs, as the most recent installation cost numbers show.

According to BSW Solar, the average cost of installed solar power per watt peak was €1.776, or $2.24, in Q2 of 2012 (as we noted back in May). By contrast, as the most recent GTM Research and SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight report finds, the average price per watt for solar in the US was $4.44 in Q1 of 2012. That’s a pretty huge difference. And it’s just a testament of what strong solar policy can do for solar power costs.

“Since Germany is dominated by rooftop systems (72 percent of installations in 2011), this is an impressively low number,” Greentech Media writes. “Assuming a module price of around $0.90 per watt peak, this implies an average balance of system cost of $1.34 per watt peak.”...

Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1f7zF)
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/19/2-24watt-vs-4-44watt-solar-germany-vs-solar-us/#f3FgkqWgUy3bxbWy.99


And a big part of the problem lies in "soft cost"



http://www.rmi.org/simple

See also:
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56806.pdf

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:05 PM

4. What do you mean by 'steered' anyway. ...

can you expand your description in terms of design. Is this a nomenclature of the industry?

Does this perhaps mean most PV systems are not dedicated to a specific system such as hot water or heating, or lights, but rather a general collection of potential? Thanks hrh

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Response to CRH (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:35 PM

5. 'Steered' means it follows the sun for improved efficiency.

This is an example of a panel that can follow the sun for time of day, and seasonal declination.


These can do seasonal declination only


And these just stay put.


The more it can face the sun all day, the better the efficiency. Of course, the tracking systems require more maintenance than fixed mounting systems. I imagine the trade off is worth it in most cases.

As for how the power is assigned, some people will do 12v DC applications to remove some systems from the grid entirely (entryway lighting, things like that, using simple 12v batteries with no inverter to turn DC into 120v AC.)

Most systems I see are the inverter-type.

Hot water is better handled by a solar thermal unit like this:


Skips the whole 'turning it into electricity and back into heat later' thing, which wastes power.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:00 PM

7. Thank you for the thorough explanation, n/t

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:00 PM

3. China's government is not owned by international petroleum corporations nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:11 PM

8. But it is run by slave labor

And the production of said power panels will add more to global warming than they will save, due to the dirty nature of Chinese manufacturing.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:12 PM

11. Not at all...

the wages by the local scale are actually pretty attractive. It isn't US union scale but it is very desirable employment from what I've heard.

As to adding to the carbon debt - that must be something you've picked up from those nitwit right wing nuclear lover sites.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:27 PM

12. Can you prove that?

Every reputable study I have seen shows that Chinese wages are barely above slave labor level.

And yes, it will add to the carbon debt - what do you think powers those factories - DIRTY, UNREGULATED COAL.

Get a grip on reality - nothing Chinese helps the environment.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:23 PM

17. Another nuclear fan that is allergic to hard data... nt

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Response to kristopher (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:35 PM

18. Since you never provide hard data, LMAO at you

Reasonable people understand that nuclear is key to our energy needs, and to counteract climate change.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:37 AM

6. That's what they'll sell them for...

... the question is whether they can turn a profit (or even service their debt) while doing so.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:26 PM

9. But don't bitch when U.S. manufacturers shut down

When you pay your people a 10th of what it costs in the U.S. with none of the benefits and limited safety or environmental concerns, you can pretty much outsell whomever you want. Cheer the low cost if you want, but it's one more item outsourced to China. You can't expect very many people with already massive household debt to take on more to install systems like this.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:09 PM

10. Do you have any actual data to back up your claims?

If you have an analysis of what the savings from labor and environment are I'd be eager to see it. My understanding is those areas are a very minor part of the picture for solar. I believe the principle advantage held by the Chinese re solar is found in a very low cost of capital and strong govt support for new, more efficient plants.

If you have solid information that is incorrect please share it. Thanks.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:29 PM

13. Try Google. Anyone with a brain and an open mind knows this.

But you have never let facts get in your anti-nuke screeds, have you?


kristopher - a potent source of global warming.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #10)


Response to kristopher (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:45 PM

15. Slight exageration on wages

Original figures I had were from 2009 and they were getting under $2 per hour. It's now up to $3 so the wage advantage is 6 to 1 in China's favour.



And this from a 2010 article from Stanford University's Journal of International Relations:

"Unfortunately, links to Chinese manufacturing raise the specter of dubious environmental practices. While the prospect of used solar panels looms somewhere on the horizon of American consumers, villagers in China are forced to grapple with the toxic effects of solar-grade silicon production today. The Washington Post reported these side effects in a recent article that spotlighted a small village in the central province of Henan overcome by a steady flow of silicon tetrachloride, a byproduct of the polysilicon manufactured by Luoyang Zhonggui, a nearby subsidiary of the solar behemoth Suntech...Why hasn’t any action been taken to prevent this pollution? On top of the Chinese government’s underlying aversion to environmental regulations, the Post reports that “there's such a severe shortage of polysilicon that the government is willing to overlook this issue for now.”

http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjir/pdf/Solar_11.2.pdf

There would be no way a practice like this would be tolerated in the U.S. before someone would be screaming bloody murder.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:19 PM

16. That I knew but it doesn't quantify the impact on final price.

The reason your perspective is skewed is that you are assuming the labor and environmental factors are a larger contributor to final costs than they are. Manufacturing solar panels is a highly automated process, so the relative significance of those factors is actually much smaller than your post presumed.

ETA: one of the primary motivators of a recent round of major investment in solar manufacturing by the Chinese government was to clean up the industry by running the older dirtier plants out of business.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:42 PM

19. Environmental factors are the largest contributor to costs.

The Zhejiang plant protests is but one example.

The type of environmental controls that the western world enjoys (so that our air is clean) are enormous. China gets away with not having those controls.

It doesn't help that their factories are effectively prisons where people work and live and where OSHA style work standards are non-existent, and they are compelled to work many hours every day.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:09 PM

20. No, they aren't - it isn't even a factor big enough to count.

Except by right wing anti-renewable propagandists.


The ChinaGlobalTrade report compares government support for solar manufacturing in the United States and China, highlighting the role of industry policy and central planning in China. Estimates of the cost advantage of top tier Chinese solar cell and module manufacturers range from 18% to 30%. This advantage comes largely from economies of scale and vertigal integrationi, giving Chinese manufacturers a 10% discount on materials and a 50% discount on equipment from Chinese vendors. Labor costs are only 5% to 10% of the cost of a module, while US producers use more automation, so cheap labor is a minor contributor to the cost advantage.

Technology transfer from US, German and Swiss manufacturers has allowed Chinese manufacturers "to nearly plug-and-play" solar production lines into their factories, but this has been acquired by licensing and research collaboration, not through foreign direct investment (FDI).

The report considers various possible responses from China to the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy actions. The Chinese government could remove the subsidies and stop dumping, as it has occasionally done in the past. Chinese manufacturers could themselves retaliate by switching from US to German and Swiss supplies of polysilicon, which they now largely import from the US. Chinese solar manufacturers could ramp up production in the US, rather like Ford's expansion in Europe in the face of rising trade barriers before the second world war. Or they could move production somewhere else, such as Taiwan or Mexico.

It will not only be Chinese solar producers that feel the impact of punitive tariffs, says the report, but also the sellers, distributors and installers of Chinese solar cells in the US, reducing American jobs. Polysilicon and photovoltaic capital equipment producers in the US fear retaliation. The growth of solar power as an alternative energy source might be slowed.

http://chinabilityblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/report-on-chinas-solar-industry-says-it.html


See also:
The NREL presentation concludes that Chinese producers have an inherent cost advantage of no greater than 1% compared with U.S. producers. When trans-ocean shipping costs are counted, they actually have face a 5% cost disadvantage.
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/12/dumping-solar-study-sheds-light-on-solar-pv-trade-flows-us-china-manufacturing/#TmJLcuIZaV4oOYWP.99

From:
Solar PV Manufacturing Cost Analysis: U.S. Competitiveness in a Global Industry
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/53938.pdf

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Response to kristopher (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:39 PM

21. That's not an environmental response, that's an economics response.

Yes, they're cheaper. 2,000 Chinese workers getting paid $2.13/hr as opposed to 400 American workers getting paid $13.33/hr. Have fun justifying Chinese slave labor.

Meanwhile, I do not see anywhere where they address pollution concerns of plants.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:13 AM

22. You made an inaccurate argument about the economic effect of environmental regulation.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/112736658#post19

I'm surprised you don't have whiplash...

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Response to kristopher (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:00 PM

23. And you returned with nothing about the environment.

You don't consider, for example, that the energy to make these panels comes from coal plants, either directly, or indirectly through coal useage elsewhere, you don't consider that these plants have had major protests about pollution relating to the cities around these plants. None of that matters to you.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:52 PM

24. Once more for the hard of hearing

You weren't addressing environmental effects, you were addressing the economic effects of environmental regulation - which are virtually nil.

As to whether I care or not, given your head-spinning lack of reasoning ability, you are hardly one to judge.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:56 PM

25. The external costs of pollution are not "virtually nil."

They are extremely hard to quantify. When you have a country with very little environmental regulation you must consider these external costs.

You of course don't care about those external costs. It's all about numbers for you, not lives, not the environment.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:59 PM

26. .


You weren't addressing environmental effects, you were addressing the economic effects of environmental regulation - which are virtually nil.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:26 PM

27. Pollution has a long term economic effect, kristopher.

I admit I can't quantify it, but you dismiss it off hand, completely. Fossil fuel subsidies in China are 10x renewables.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:28 PM

28. that's not what you were talking about

Last edited Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:04 AM - Edit history (1)

When you learn to be coherent, get back to me.

joshcryer post 19.
Environmental factors are the largest contributor to costs.


The Zhejiang plant protests is but one example.

The type of environmental controls that the western world enjoys (so that our air is clean) are enormous. China gets away with not having those controls.

It doesn't help that their factories are effectively prisons where people work and live and where OSHA style work standards are non-existent, and they are compelled to work many hours every day.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:33 PM

29. They have to pay the piper either way.

I am talking about the route they've chosen.

When you can get over the markets as our savior, get back to me.

You've been consistently wrong for as long as I've known you.

Renewables are not going to avert catastrophic climate change.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:15 PM

30. It seems like only yesterday that $1/watt was the Holy Grail of solar...

Now we are talking about $0.42/watt.

It can't be simply appreciated here on DUEE however, because the nuclear supporters know what it means to the future of that technology.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:03 PM

31. A review of China's progress in the last 22 months

22 months ago:
Will China’s 50 GW goal create a solar bubble? No.
In fact, the dramatic scaling of solar manufacturing capacity is just what’s needed to keeps costs dropping

By Stephen Lacey on May 12, 2011

The renewable energy industry is central to addressing many national problems: Climate change, national security, and job growth. Its biggest international challenge is the Green Giant – the competition from China’s full-court press into clean energy.

Seemingly every week there’s another story about how China is upping the U.S. in the race to develop clean energy. This week’s news is in the solar sector, where Chinese officials say they plan to deploy 50 GW of cumulative capacity in the country by 2020. China only has about 1 GW of solar PV installed today (and no concentrated solar thermal power). But assuming it can meet those targets and continue scaling manufacturing (the country currently holds 57% of global solar cell manufacturing in the world), China is poised to become a vertically-integrated solar leader – not just an exporter of technology.

This story on the Forbes blog seems to have misunderstood the implications of China’s strategy:

“The epic expansion planned for the latter part of this decade may create the world’s first solar-energy bubble. The existing solar supply chain is likely too shallow to sustain growth on this scale. Unless the industry develops scalable infrastructure over the next four years, China’s planned installation of 8 GWs of solar capacity annually between 2015 and 2020 is likely to create severe bottlenecks in the solar supply chain. These bottlenecks could radically inflate the price of basic materials like silicon and create labor shortages that would affect the costs of manufacturing solar modules, designing and installing new solar systems and operating and maintaining already installed systems.”


So are we really going to see a solar energy bubble? That’s extremely unlikely, says Shayle Kann, a leading solar analyst with GTM Research.

“It’s actually nothing crazy,” he says. “I have a hard time seeing this creating a global undersupply – we’ll have 50 GW of module manufacturing capacity by the end of this year. The goal is doable.”

That’s a pretty amazing feat....
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/05/12/208083/will-china-create-a-solar-bubble-not-going-to-happen/


And from the beginning of Feb:
China increases solar target by 67% – yet again

For the fourth time in two years China has increased its solar energy target (- from) 21GW by 2015 to 35GW.

Chinese newspaper The Economic Times reported Shi Lishan, Deputy Director of the Renewable Energy Office of the National Energy Administration (NEA), said, “The target of 35 GW has been confirmed, and will soon be announced.

“The reason for making the adjustment is that the PV industry has been developing very quickly.”

In the last ten years, China’s solar PV cumulative installed capacity has already grown by 67 times the average annual growth...
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/china_increases_solar_target_by_67_yet_again

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