Innovation and barriers of distributed photovoltaic in industry



The new installed capacity of photovoltaics is hot, and the pace of installation of ground stations is delayed due to high prices, but it is expected to be carried out together starting in 2023.


1. Spatial analysis of distributed PV development

From 2021 to 2022, due to the tight supply of polysilicon, the price of the main industrial chain has risen all the way, and the centralized installed capacity that is more price sensitive is less than expected. By 2022, China's new PV capacity will reach 87.4 GW.

Among them, the centralized installed capacity reached 36.29 GW. Distributed installed capacity reached 51.11 GW, surpassing centralized power stations for two consecutive years. Mainly due to the high industrial and commercially distributed installed capacity, new residentially distributed photovoltaics installed capacity reached 25.2 GW, an increase of 17% year over year.

Spatial analysis of distributed PV development


With the start of large-scale wind and solar infrastructure projects, it is expected that the proportion of new ground station capacity will once again exceed that of distributed power stations by 2023.

● Distributed market aspects

Distributed industrial, commercial and household photovoltaic construction will continue to support the photovoltaic power generation market, and although the proportion is declining, the total installed capacity will still show an upward trend. In photovoltaic construction, home energy storage is widely accepted. Under the influence of economic and other driving factors, it is estimated that the global PV installed capacity in 23 years will be 360–380 GW (130–150 GW).

2. Energy-independent market

Energy autonomy and self-control, and spontaneous economies promote the momentum of distributed photovoltaic installations. European New Energy aims to rapidly complete large-scale distributed photovoltaic deployment, and the transformation exceeds expectations.

In terms of market factors, high wholesale electricity prices in various countries have stimulated distributed photovoltaic installations. Feed-in tariff subsidies (FIT) for power generation and "self-consumption, surplus electricity on the grid" will also become important driving forces for promoting distributed development. The passage of the IRA Act extended the ITC, providing a long-term investment environment for the U.S.

PV industry, promoting competition and technological innovation, and reducing energy costs for consumers. Household distribution contributes the most to new PV installations.

Energy-independent market


Australia's early distribution of photovoltaics, as well as its unique lighting resource advantages, have all helped open up the rooftop photovoltaic market to acceptance. Improve the integration of renewable energy markets and the balanced development of distributed and centralized photovoltaics.

Japan's limited land area and high demand for electricity led to the rapid development of rooftop photovoltaic and distributed power stations in the early stages. Compared to surplus electricity, consumers are more likely to choose self-consumption, making distributed generation more attractive.

3. Material supply potential analysis

From 2023, the polysilicon supply bottleneck will be lifted, modules will enter the price reduction channel, and profits will shift downstream. With new polysilicon production capacity projects in operation one by one, the willingness to purchase polysilicon tends to be relaxed, and polysilicon prices have turned into a price reduction channel.

After 2023, demand will gradually recover, and polysilicon prices will rebound in the upstream and downstream gaming periods. However, with the overstock of polysilicon stocks and the release of new capacity, when the growth rate of supply is significantly ahead of the growth rate of demand, polysilicon will enter the price reduction channel.

Material supply potential analysis


● Economy-release of polysilicon supply

The expansion of production capacity at all levels has been accelerated, and the profits of the industrial chain have been redistributed. As the new polysilicon production capacity is gradually put into operation, production is expected to increase month by month.

After further increasing market share, the supply-demand relationship for polysilicon volumes reversed, prices showed a downward trend, and industrial chain profits faced opportunities for redistribution.

In addition, end users in the distributed market are less price sensitive, pay more attention to the quality of product and after-sales service of brand companies, and channels are more scattered. Model manufacturers and related distributors have the ability to capture spot prices, and are expected to benefit from profit retention due to lower raw material prices.

4. Distributed with less constraints

Distributed power stations are accompanied by load terminals, and local consumption can offset part of the electricity demand. Due to the unstable output of photovoltaics, all of its instability will be transmitted to the grid after it is fully connected to it, resulting in a large degree of disturbance.

In contrast, the spontaneous self-consumption part. Local consumption can reduce the amount of electricity on the grid and at the same time effectively meet the local electricity demand, effectively solving the problem of power loss in booster and long-distance transportation, and the absorption pressure is small.

Distributed with less constraints


From the perspective of the power grid, when there is no new energy distributed, the grid power supply needs to meet the real load curve. At this point, the off grid solar batteries plays a significant role. When new energy is distributed, grid power needs to meet the net load curve.

Flexible resources in the power system track changes in the net load curve so that power supply and demand can be balanced. Distributed new energy requires less flexibility than centralized new energy.

5. Small potential of centralized formula

Centralized power stations are far from the road and usually need to be sent via UHVDC. At present, the conventional UHV DC technology used requires that the power flow be as stable as possible during operation, so that both the sending end and the receiving end need to be peaked and the frequency adjusted, which has become the main factor affecting consumption.

In the transmitting end area, due to the fluctuation of the new energy output, UHVDC requires the transmission power flow to be as smooth as possible. Therefore, a large number of flexibility resources in the power systems need to be mobilized to ensure that the power flow is relatively stable before it can be sent to the UHVDC channel.

In the receiving area, since the load curve is obviously different in different regions, and the power flow of UHVDC is difficult to follow the load curve, it is also necessary to mobilize a large number of power system flexibility resources in the receiving area to fill the difference between the load curve and the external receiving curve.

Small potential of centralized formula


In summary, centralized new energy needs to be sent through UHVDC, at which time the sending end and the receiving end areas are both subject to peak regulation and frequency regulation, while distributed new energy is accompanied by load, and only flexible resources are required to respond to changes in the net load curve. Therefore, from the perspective of regulatory constraints, distributed new energy is less constrained and has greater absorption potential than centralized new energy.

6. Photovoltaic innovative business model

● Centralized power station

According to the different locations and grid-connected methods of power stations, photovoltaic power plants can be divided into centralized and distributed photovoltaic power plants.

Centralized power plants usually install photovoltaic arrays over a wide area. Exposed to sunlight, the photovoltaic array sends the generated direct current to the inverter through the combiner box to convert it into alternating current. For the top 10 photovoltaic battery companies in the world, although it has a scale effect and is less difficult to manage, there are disadvantages should be overcome, such as a long construction period and the occupation of land resources.

● Distributed power stations

A distributed power station refers to a power generation system that uses resources such as idle roofs and is placed near users. The distributed photovoltaic power station is close to the power side load center, and the generated power is consumed nearby.

The surplus power can be uploaded to the public grid, but due to the small size of the single unit, the scattered project, and the different roof conditions, development and management are difficult. The business model of photovoltaic power plant development is diversified, and the concentration is expected to increase.

Photovoltaic innovative business model


From the income model, photovoltaic power plants mainly have three charging modes: full Internet access, net electricity settlement, and spontaneous self-consumption surplus Internet access.

From the form of holding, it can be divided into two types of modes: self-sustaining and power station operator holding The whole life cycle income of the power station under the self-sustaining mode belongs to the owner, and the capital mode can be divided into full installation, loan installation and financial leasing.

In the power station operator holding model, the revenue generated by the power station belongs to the operator, and the owner receives preferential electricity prices. From the development perspective, it can be divided into traditional EPC mode, cooperative development mode, and new EPC mode.

7. Industrial and commercial resources-household channels

● Revenue-wise

The profit model is mainly divided into two modes: "full Internet access" and "spontaneous self-consumption, surplus Internet access." The income of the "full access to the Internet" model consists of part of the electricity price and subsidy income.

The income of the "spontaneous self-consumption, surplus on the Internet" model consists of three parts of income: part of the electricity bill, part of the electricity charge for self-consumption, and government subsidies.

Industrial and commercial resources-household channels


● Cost aspect

The cost of ground station systems is significantly higher than that of distribution. The initial full investment in distributed photovoltaic systems is mainly composed of components, inverters and other parts.

As the polysilicon supply relationship reverses, lower prices drive down modules, which helps reduce the initial investment cost and thus increase product yield. Reducing the price of polysilicon can lead to significant improvements in power generation and cost.

The initial investment cost of the power station system is much lower than that of the centralized type, and the centralized type also needs to bear the consumption costs such as distribution, storage, and long-distance transmission, so the distribution return rate is higher. The barriers to a distributed photovoltaic industry are mainly resource acquisition, channel construction, financial strength and other aspects.


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