New installations in Europe of monocrystalline solar module technology doubled in 2019 while the average selling price (ASP) in the US remained high as a result of constrained supply.
“The subsidy in China for 2020 is finalized earlier in the year than was done last year which will allow more time for project development planning and installation and is expected to result in a higher overall completion rate," said Chen. "A number of projects from 2019 will likely be delayed into 2020 which we expect will result in total installations in China reaching 40GW to 50GW for full year 2020, an increase of about 50 per cent year-over-year. With grid parity rapidly approaching in many markets, the long-term growth potential of the industry is rapidly opening up."
"The outbreak of COVID-19 across China affected certain raw materials supply and logistics during the first quarter of 2020, causing some module shipments be postponed to the second quarter of 2020. In response to the outbreak, we implemented a number of initiatives to ensure business continuity, including ensuring the safety and health of our employees and minimizing the impact of the outbreak on production and delivery by stocking up on critical raw materials and optimizing production and logistics. Our supply chain and logistics were temporarily affected by the outbreak early in the first quarter of 2020 but has improved significantly. Our current capacity utilization rate has already recovered to 100 per cent. We estimate that approximately 400 MW to 500MW of our solar module shipments in the first quarter will be postponed to the second quarter, causing shipments in the second quarter to increase significantly. We believe our shipments and capacity expansion plans for the full year 2020 will not be impacted by the outbreak."
One of the drivers for the move to monocrystalline solar module production was that the bifacial technology reached a record efficiency of 22.49 per cent, breaking the previous world record and setting a new industry standard for efficiency of mass produced solar cells. These results were verified during testing conducted by TÜV Rheinland.
"The competitiveness of products in the market today is driven by the technologies they incorporate. We increased our investments into R&D in 2019 which resulted in our products breaking world records of cell efficiency and module output twice in June 2019 and once in January 2020. We believe our ability to consistently drive technological breakthroughs coupled with our expanding production capacity for high efficiency products will continue to drive down manufacturing costs," said Chen.