L R AS Published on Tuesday 14 June 2022 - n° 408 - Categories:
Interview with Frank Niendorf, Managing Director for Europe at JinkoSolar: Focus on Type N
Interview with Frank Niendorf, Managing Director for Europe at JinkoSolar
In the industry, a strategic shift is underway, with the solar industry moving away from a model that sees PV panels as commodities and therefore subject to fierce competition. This transition is underway
for some years now. The race for the lowest price has been relegated to the pre-pandemic era, rendered irrelevant by soaring material and logistics costs.
This development has coincided with a radical technological shift. It involves the adoption of TOPCon (tunnel oxidised passivated contact) cells and panels as the industry's foray into a new era of N-type panels. This shift will happen much faster than even the most ardent change-makers thought. Jinko Solar sees N-type as the future market standard.
The company has focused on this technology and is mobilising its research and development. This has given the manufacturer confidence in the technology. Its emergence coincided with the completion of JinkoSolar's listing on the Shanghai STAR market earlier this year.
The listing provided the company with the resources to invest and put Jinko in a "very comfortable strategic position". Jinko's overall production capacity is now set to soar. The company has set a target of 65 GW of capacity by the end of the year - about two-thirds of which will be TOPCon. The majority of this production will be fully integrated.
More than 10 GW of TOPCon panels will be shipped by JinkoSolar by the end of the year. Europe will be a key destination given the maturity of its market. This change gives a nice competitive advantage. The size of the capacity will lead to economies of scale that will help us reduce the manufacturing cost to a level very, very close to competitiveness. N-type panels are currently more expensive than traditional P-type PERCs, given the costs of the higher purity silicon required for N-type wafers and the additional manufacturing processes required. Bringing manufacturing costs into the PERC range would therefore consolidate TOPCon's 'technical superiority'.
"From an investor's point of view, there is no reason to continue using PERC, and that is very exciting... It will be interesting to see now how the markets react and how fast they follow," he said.
JinkoSolar is determined to outpace its rivals by reaching critical production capacity as quickly as possible. The manufacturer can use the capital raised in the IPO to invest in N-technology production capacity, while competitors have invested heavily in P-technology.
Everyone sees TOPCon technology as a transition phase to heterojunction. It all depends on how quickly the cost reduction is achieved. In fact, JinkoSolar is convinced that TOPCon is the best value proposition for at least the next two to three years
Editor's note: Prices will no longer fall by choice and not only because of increased component or logistics costs. N-technology will quickly take over in terms of price due to the production rate, creating a gap between the new and the old PERC-based technologies. This will create a new gap between the manufacturers to the benefit of the constitution of a production oligopoly which will be able to impose its prices on the whole world.
The director's comments are questionable because he dates the end of the price war before the pandemic. This is explained by the shift towards N-technology. Although the research departments have been examining it for a long time, we have only seen it emerge in recent months. This is a misrepresentation of reality, in order to justify the Chinese desire to benefit from the productivity efforts made over the past ten years.
Jinko Solar will increase its production capacity to 60 GW in 2022. This will almost double in one year. Today, 75% of the company's production is based on N-type technology. By the beginning of 2023, this figure will rise to 100%. This is a real industrial revolution!
For more technical and advertising details, click on the link below.
JinkoSolar has received an order for 1 GW of bi-facial N-type TOPCon panels