2020 has been an unpredictable year for the development of PV industry. The pandemic is still raging, the resumption of work has been postponed, a huge number of PV modules was installed before 30th of June. The PV market has experienced ups and downs. However, the industry is moving forward, and its development continues to accelerate. The demand for modules is showing an “explosive” growth trend, and in the just-concluded 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the government had clearly stated that it supports green development. According to the “14th Five-Year Plan”, the total discharge of major pollutants will continue to decrease and the ecological environment will constantly improve. In this context of positive development of the industry, the glass production capacity of the industrial chain is currently facing a serious shortage, which has critically affected the production and delivery capabilities of PV modules. In the wave of fast installation at the end of the year, the price of glass increased rapidly due to the mismatch of supply and demand. The average price of 3.2mm glass per square meter has risen by more than 100% since July. The supply of glass and its price are “out of control”, affecting directly the normal production of modules manufacturers. PV industry has become China’s business card, and the shortage of glass has made it difficult for many overseas orders to be delivered, and this undermines not just the reputation of enterprises, but even the country itself.
At present, the consequences of the epidemic have not ended yet. The Party and the country have reviewed the situation and the policy guidelines of “Six Stability” and “Six Guarantees” to ensure the stable and healthy development of China’s economy. However, the production is reducing or even halting because of the shortage of glass. The development of PV industry has fallen into a “dilemma”.
For this reason, Longi, JinkoSolar, TrinaSolar, JA Solar, Risen Energy, Canadian Solar, (listed in no particular order) and other major PV module companies have jointly called for:
1. The serious shortage of glass production capacity has caused a serious crisis in the scheduling and shipment of module companies. At present, we are actively coordinating resources and doing our best to “guarantee supply.” In this special period, we urge the relevant state departments to consider introducing policies to cool down the “rush for installation” at the end of the year and guide the progress of the projects.
2. With regards to the severe situation in modules supply, PV module companies are not able to supply modules without glass. Glass production capacity has been seriously “left behind”. The total supply of modules is insufficient, and PV module companies have already experienced large-scale delivery delays. It is hoped that the power plant investment enterprises will understand the current situation and actively respond to it to avoid or reduce the losses caused by missed grid connection deadlines.
3. As a “participant” and “builder” in the development of PV industry, the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain should go hand in hand at this time to overcome the difficulties together. The upstream glass manufacturers should take the initiative and work together with downstream module companies to guarantee the supply, always maintaining the healthy development of PV market in a sustainable perspective.
4. For the current predicament, the capacity bottleneck of glass industry is a direct cause of the “urgency” of module supply. Hence it is hoped that the policy–making department will fully consider the urgent situation that the industry is currently facing, and will actively implement the country’s “14th Five-Year Plan” energy transition policy to loosen restrictions on the expansion of glass production capacity.
LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd.
Jinko Solar Co., Ltd.
Trina Solar Co., Ltd.
JA Solar Holding Co., Ltd
Risen Energy Co., Ltd.
Canadian Solar Inc.
November 3, 2020