Monocrystalline technology is starting to become more competitive with multicrystalline technology as we are emphasizing in Greenworldinvestor. The new PERC technology shows better effects in mono panels as compared to multi panels. This has led to increased interest and investment into this technology. Longi Silicon has been the champion of this technology movements and plans to invest massively in wafers to panels, as its see mono technology overtaking multi technology in the next 2-3 years.
The prices of mono wafers has come down sharply as compared to multi type wafers. The price of mono wafers has fallen by around 10% in the last one year to around 95 cents, while multi wafers have more or less remained static in the 80-85 cents level. This has also lowered the price of p-type mono solar cells and panels. The price decline can be attributed to the temporary oversupply situation in the mono wafer space where current capacity is 14 GW, compared to the demand for around 10 GW. This is expected to dissipate, as the price for mono and multi panels converge. Also the demand for mono panels has decreased, as Europe and Japan have seen their currencies depreciate against the yuan and the dollar. These regions are the most prolific users of high efficiency mono panels being relatively price insensitive, as compared to the other markets like India and China.
N-type wafer and panel prices still remain high and demand still remain niches for these high efficiency and high priced panels. The main players in the mono space are companies like JA Solar, Trina, Jinko and others. These companies operate in both the multi and mono silicon segments and remain flexible to change depending on market requirements.
In China, for instance, some mainstream mono-Si cell products are now at around RMB2.35 (US$0.37)/W, matching the prices of multi-Si cells for the first time. This also indicates that module companies are now able to make mono-Si products with high cost-performance ratios. According to EnergyTrend’s latest price forecast, the multi-Si wafer market has reached a rare state of equilibrium due to a surge of orders from the cell manufacturers. Consequently, multi-Si wafer suppliers have raised their prices in October, starting with leading polysilicon and wafer supplier GCL. Currently, multi-Si wafer prices have reached RMB6.15/pc in China and are moving towards US$0.84/pc in Taiwan. In the mono-Si cell market, only a few module manufacturers are sending out orders.