Interpretation of the "Standardized Conditions for Photovoltaic Manufacturing Industry (2024 Edition)" (Draft for Comments)
2024-07-10 17:45

Q:What is the background and main considerations for this revision?

A:Since the release of the "Standardized Conditions" in 2013, timely revisions have been made in 2015, 2018 and 2021 in response to the actual situation of industrial development and market demand. These revisions have put forward specific requirements for technical indicators, capacity utilization and production energy consumption through policy guidance to promote the upgrading and development of the photovoltaic industry. By the end of 2023, a total of 329 photovoltaic industry standardized enterprises have been announced in twelve batches, and 120 enterprises have been revoked in seven batches. These enterprises cover more than 60% of the backbone enterprises in the main links of the photovoltaic manufacturing industry. These lists are widely used in application units, power station enterprises, financial institutions and related departments, effectively promoting the transformation and upgrading of the industry and healthy development.

At present, although the industry has maintained rapid growth, it has also entered a new industry shock cycle, facing the phased imbalance of industrial supply and demand, the rapid decline of industrial chain prices and the pressure of enterprise operation. The industry calls for strengthening self-discipline, reducing vicious competition within the industry, and giving priority support to enterprises with technology, brands and independent intellectual property rights at the macro policy level. This will guide the industry to avoid low-level blind expansion and optimize the development environment of the photovoltaic industry, including strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights, unifying relevant standards and improving product quality. The revised "Normative Conditions" and "Management Measures" meet the latest needs of industry development and technological progress.

Q:What aspects does the revision mainly involve?

A:Compared with the 2021 regulatory conditions, the main changes in this revision are summarized as follows: First, continue to encourage photovoltaic companies to avoid manufacturing projects that simply increase production capacity and prevent inefficient repetitive expansion. Second, improve the standards of certain technical indicators. Third, strengthen the protection of quality management and intellectual property rights. Fourth, encourage enterprises to improve their green development level. Fifth, encourage enterprises to participate in the formulation or revision of standards. Finally, strengthen the dynamic supervision of the list of standardized enterprises.

Q:What are the specific measures to avoid low-level duplicate expansion?

A:Faced with the current tight supply and demand situation in the photovoltaic industry, regulating the supply side is an important strategy to promote the balance between supply and demand. Therefore, the "Regulatory Conditions" continue to encourage photovoltaic companies to avoid photovoltaic manufacturing projects that are only carried out for the purpose of expanding production capacity, in order to prevent inefficient and repetitive expansion. In addition, for new and expanded photovoltaic manufacturing projects other than polysilicon, the minimum proportion of capital has been increased from 20% to 30%.

Q:What specific technical indicator requirements have been improved?

A:The "Specification Conditions" have improved the product technical indicators based on the consideration of the industry's technological development trends. In view of the fact that N-type monocrystalline cells and modules are gradually becoming the mainstream of technological development, specific requirements for these products have been added to the specification. For example, the average efficiency indicators of current monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules have been increased from no less than 22.5% and 19.6% to no less than 23.2% and 21.2% for P-type cells and modules, and no less than 25% and 22.3% for N-type cells and modules. For newly built monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic cell and module projects, the average efficiency indicators have also been increased from 23% and 20% to no less than 23.7% and 21.8% for P-type cells and modules, and no less than 26% and 23.1% for N-type cells and modules. These efficiency indicators reflect the industry average level of existing projects, while the indicators of new projects combine the advanced level of the industry and the expected level that can be achieved after the implementation of the policy.

It is particularly pointed out that heterojunction cells have a higher tolerance for N-type silicon wafers in terms of technical requirements, so technical indicators are set separately for N-type silicon wafers dedicated to heterojunction cells. At the same time, the test efficiency of N-type monocrystalline silicon cell production lines based on TOPCon technology in the industry has reached 26% or above, but it faces the problem of efficiency degradation when entering the warehouse. In response to this problem, the China Photovoltaic Industry Association organized government departments, industry experts, major companies and third-party testing agencies to conduct in-depth discussions, and based on the test data of third-party agencies, it was concluded that the average efficiency of N-type TOPCon monocrystalline cells is 25%. Therefore, the "Specification Conditions" stipulate that the average efficiency of N-type monocrystalline silicon cells in existing projects shall not be less than 25%. This indicator is not only in line with the current status of the industry, but also has important significance for guiding the scientific and accurate calibration of N-type monocrystalline cells and module efficiency and promoting the long-term healthy development of the industry.

Q:What are your considerations in strengthening quality management and intellectual property protection?

A:Strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights is a key measure to prevent disorderly expansion of capital, improve product quality and stabilize product prices. The "Standardized Conditions" further clarifies the requirements for intellectual property protection on the basis of encouraging enterprises to continue to increase R&D investment and promote technological innovation. Specifically, photovoltaic manufacturing enterprises need to have core patents that can be applied to their main business and achieve industrialization. At the same time, the products developed and produced by enterprises must comply with the legal provisions of intellectual property protection and no infringement has occurred in the past three years. In addition, enterprises are encouraged to improve their intellectual property protection system in accordance with the "Enterprise Intellectual Property Compliance Management System Requirements".

In terms of product quality, the "Standardized Conditions" also put forward higher requirements. It emphasizes the high reliability and long life of the product, and extends the warranty period of process and materials from 10 years to 12 years. In addition, the technical indicators of product attenuation are improved, and the test requirements for product reliability are increased to ensure that the product can maintain stable performance for a longer period of time. These measures are aimed at promoting the healthy development of the photovoltaic industry by improving product quality and protecting intellectual property rights.

Q:How to guide industries to improve their green development levels?

A:The "Standardized Conditions" further deepened the green manufacturing aspect to promote the industry to continuously improve its green development level. Specific measures include:

1)Increased the power consumption and water consumption indicators of polysilicon, silicon ingots, silicon rods, silicon wafers, batteries and modules in existing and new situations to strengthen the green standards of enterprises in the production process.

2)Encourage enterprises to participate in the formulation and revision of green and low-carbon standards in the photovoltaic industry to promote the green transformation of the entire industry.

3)Guide enterprises to carry out research and development of recycling technologies for photovoltaic products and promote the application of these technologies in the industry to achieve resource recycling.

4)Added requirements for carbon footprint accounting of photovoltaic products to help enterprises better understand and manage the environmental impact of their products throughout the life cycle.

5)Encourage enterprises to improve their management level in environmental protection and energy use by obtaining certifications such as environmental management systems and energy management systems.

6)Promote enterprises to disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG) information and enhance the transparency of enterprises in social responsibility and sustainable development.

These measures are aimed at reducing environmental impacts in the production process by improving energy efficiency and resource utilization efficiency, while promoting innovation and practice of enterprises in green development, and contributing to the sustainable development of the industry.

Q:What specific measures are there to encourage enterprises to participate in the formulation (revision) of standards?

A:Improving the level of standard supply is the key to improving the "soft power" of my country's photovoltaic industry. To this end, the "Normative Conditions" encourage enterprises to participate in the formulation and revision of national standards, industry standards and international standardization activities in the field of solar photovoltaics. Strengthen the implementation of the "Solar Photovoltaic Industry Comprehensive Standardization Technology System". Encourage the dimensions of crystalline silicon modules to meet the requirements of the "Technical Requirements for the Dimensions and Mounting Holes of Ground Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Modules".

Q:How to strengthen the dynamic management of standardized lists?

A:In order to strengthen the dynamic management of the standardized list, "in and out" is a necessary measure to give full play to the effect of policy implementation and improve the level of policy implementation. To this end, the "Standardization Conditions" specifically added a clause of "failure to submit a self-inspection report as required" for the situation of revoking the announcement qualification. First, it echoes the requirement of submitting an annual self-inspection report on time in the "Management Measures"; second, it improves the industry's monitoring capabilities by strengthening policy constraints.


Tags:cell , TOPCon