In the first quarter of 2020, as the cyclical off-season of the global photovoltaic industry, under the impact of the new crown epidemic, the photovoltaic markets of various countries are facing more challenges than in previous years.
Judging from the overall installed capacity of China, the United States and India in 2020Q1. China's photovoltaic installed capacity is 3.95GW, the US installed capacity is 3.6GW, and India's installed capacity is 1.08GW. The total installed capacity of the three countries decreased by 11% compared with last year, but it still leads the global photovoltaic market.
China: The average monthly installed capacity of the Chinese market is above 1GW in the first quarter. In February, due to the Spring Festival and epidemic situation, the installed capacity dropped significantly. Most provinces resumed work gradually in March, and domestic PV installations rebounded to 2GW in a single month. Compared with the same period in 2019, new installations in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 24% year-on-year, of which 7% fell in centralized mode and 45% in distributed mode.
India: According to Mercom research data, the cumulative installed capacity of India in 2020Q1 reached 36.8GW, and the newly installed capacity (1.08GW) was the lowest in a single quarter in the past five years, down 43% from the previous month and 39% from the same period last year. Recalling the development of the local market, on the one hand, due to insufficient supply of local production capacity and logistics problems of imported photovoltaic products, construction could not be carried out in time. On the other hand, although the 2020Q1 bidding and pending bidding projects in the Indian market reached 38.8GW, photovoltaic projects were frequently delayed due to problems such as land acquisition, project approval, and power grid bottlenecks, making the development of the Indian photovoltaic market worse in the epidemic.
United States: According to SEIA research data, the installed capacity of 3.6GW was newly added in 2020Q1, a year-on-year increase of 33.33%, a record high. According to the SEIA report, by the end of the first quarter, only a few states in the United States began to implement blockade control measures, and the epidemic has no significant impact on the local photovoltaic market. Substantial changes only began in the second quarter. It is worth noting that, in December 2019, the United States announced that it will exempt import tariffs on double-sided photovoltaic modules under Act 201. In the first quarter, China's module exports to the United States reached 194 million U.S. dollars, an increase of more than 42 times year-on-year. After that, it once again ranked among the top ten in the Chinese export market.
Centralized photovoltaic development still dominates the market
China: Compared with the same period in 2019 (5.2GW), new installed capacity fell by 24% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020. Among them, distributed (1.72GW) decreased by 45%, and centralized (2.23GW) decreased by 7%. Driven by the continuous downward cost of electricity, driven by a large number of carried-over projects and this year's parity online, centralized photovoltaic will still become an important driving force for this year's market.
In terms of distribution, China's new household photovoltaic subsidy project in 2020Q1 is 258.9MW, and industrial and commercial distributed photovoltaics are about 1.46GW. Among them, Shandong ranked first in the nation's domestic installed capacity in the first quarter with 97.5MW, accounting for 37.73% of the installed capacity in the national household market, followed by Henan and Hebei with 17.3% and 16.72%, respectively. It can be seen that in 2020, ground power stations and industrial and commercial projects contracted significantly, and household photovoltaic installations rose.
India: From January to March 2020, India’s centralized photovoltaic projects accounted for 82% of the increase, about 886MW, and rooftop photovoltaics accounted for the remaining 18%, about 194MW. Among them, Karnataka and Rajasthan are among the top in the cumulative centralized photovoltaic installation area, accounting for approximately 23% and 15% of the country's total installed capacity, respectively. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana rank in the top five in the field of centralized photovoltaic projects. In 2020Q1, India has a potential development opportunity of 36.9GW of centralized photovoltaic project reserves.
In 2020Q1, the rooftop photovoltaic projects in India accounted for 4.6GW (12%), and the industrial and commercial (C&I) sector accounted for 96% of the rooftop photovoltaic market. Under the difficulties caused by the new crown epidemic, policy uncertainty and regulatory obstacles, India has slowed down the pace of rooftop photovoltaic development.
United States: With the gradual reduction of ITC relief and forced market grabs, various segments of the United States in 2020Q1 are experiencing rapid growth. Among them, the residential sector (810MW) increased by 31%, the non-residential sector (499MW) increased by 8%, and the utility sector reached a record 2,300MW.
As of the first quarter of 2020, there are 12.5GW of ground photovoltaic power plant projects under construction in the United States. During the same period, the United States announced a total of 4.9GW of new photovoltaic projects, with strong demand for centralized projects. Relative to the domestic photovoltaic construction progress in about a year, the development cycle of photovoltaic projects in overseas markets including the United States, India and other regions is longer, and it is foreseeable that centralized photovoltaic projects in such markets in the future have great development potential.
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