Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Feedstock Shortages Constrain the Development of China's PV Industry
The growth in production capacity in China's PV industry seems unstoppable; however, actual production is limited by the availability of solar grade silicon (SGS) and wafers on the world market. Since things move and grow fast in China, these international shortages have inspired several new Chinese companies and have resulted in new initiatives for silicon and wafer production. Despite these new silicon manufacturers and a production capacity covering about 20% of the world's production of solar ingots and wafers, China's PV industry is still heavily dependent on the import of solar feedstock. And yet, as a result of worldwide shortages and attractive market prices, part of China's current production of silicon and cells is being exported. Taking into consideration the ambitions of the companies known at present to be involved in the production of solar grade silicon (SGS), wafers, cells and modules, it is anticipated that even by 2010 China will still need to import feedstock to maximise its production of cells and modules.