Accelerated development of distributed photovoltaics, three major challenges worth paying attention to!


In recent years, with the deepening of the concept of green development and the accelerated transformation of domestic energy structure, the photovoltaic industry has ushered in a period of development opportunities. Despite the promising prospects of distributed photovoltaics, various regions generally face three major challenges in the practice process: "inconsistent policy standards", "unresolved difficulties in consumption and grid connection", and "difficulties in later operation and maintenance". Therefore, "new technologies", "new platforms", and "new models" have become the response methods for many enterprises

  In recent years, with the deepening of the concept of green development and the accelerated transformation of domestic energy structure, the photovoltaic industry has ushered in a period of development opportunities. Despite the promising prospects of distributed photovoltaics, various regions generally face three major challenges in the practice process: "inconsistent policy standards", "unresolved difficulties in consumption and grid connection", and "difficulties in later operation and maintenance". Therefore, "new technologies", "new platforms", and "new models" have become the response methods for many enterprises




The current policy is favorable, and the development of distributed photovoltaics is rapid
Distributed photovoltaics have the characteristics of spontaneous self use on the user side, excess electricity connected to the grid, and balanced regulation in the distribution system. The Notice of the Comprehensive Department of the National Energy Administration on Submitting the Pilot Plan for the Development of Distributed Photovoltaics on Roofs in the Whole County (City, District) issued by the National Energy Administration requires that distributed photovoltaics be "built as soon as possible" and "connected as soon as possible". Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development of the People's Republic of China and the National Development and Reform Commission have issued the "Implementation Plan for Carbon Peak in the Field of Urban and Rural Construction", proposing to strive to achieve a 50% photovoltaic coverage rate on the roofs of new public office buildings and new factory buildings by 2025. Due to the continuous increase in policies, distributed photovoltaic construction has entered the "fast lane". In the first half of 2022, 30.88GW of photovoltaic installed capacity was added, of which 19.65GW was distributed photovoltaic, nearly two-thirds.
Wu Yin, former deputy director of the National Energy Administration, stated that industry experts estimate that China's new photovoltaic installed capacity may reach around 100 million kilowatts this year. Good market prospects have also received feedback from the capital market. Taking Zhengtai Anneng, a leading domestic household photovoltaic enterprise, as an example, recently obtained a strategic financing of 1 billion yuan and there are rumors that it will go public independently. Trina Solar, a veteran photovoltaic leading enterprise, continued to maintain a leading position in the distributed photovoltaic market share in the first half of this year. The company's stock price has continued to strengthen since April this year and is expected to reach a new historical high.
It is worth noting that in recent years, due to internal and external factors such as the COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the price of silicon materials has continued to rise, which has brought pressure on downstream enterprises such as photovoltaic modules and affected the progress of distributed photovoltaic construction. However, Lv Jinbiao, Deputy Director of the Expert Committee of the Jiangsu Photovoltaic Industry Association, said, "With the continuous production of new domestic silicon material projects, it is expected that the domestic production capacity will reach 1.2 million tons by the end of this year, and may exceed 2.4 million tons by the end of next year. Raw material prices may decrease, which is beneficial for distributed photovoltaics



There are three major challenges worth paying attention to in promoting practice

 01 Different policies and standards in different regions, causing difficulties for enterprises
Several enterprise leaders have stated that since the country proposed to promote distributed photovoltaic construction throughout the county, policies implemented in different regions have been inconsistent, which has caused difficulties for enterprises. Gao Jifan, Chairman of Trina Solar, said: "Nowadays, distributed photovoltaics require energy storage, but capacity pricing or electricity pricing? It varies from place to place. Regarding this, there is an urgent need for policies at the national level to clarify investors' expectations. At the same time, the lack of standards is also a headache for many enterprises. Taking BIPV (Integrated Photovoltaic Building) as an example, the construction industry and photovoltaic industry each have specific standards, and there is currently no clear plan to integrate the two. For example, in many regions of Guangdong and Fujian, due to historical reasons, the load is not sufficient. What solution is needed to build photovoltaic systems on colored steel tile roofs, and how to adapt the life cycle of power stations and roof usage needs to be explored, "said Sun Guojun, Vice President of CITIC Bo. Due to the lack of clear policy standards, enterprises are prone to increasing non-technical costs in the process of promoting distributed photovoltaic construction. Several business leaders have stated that non-technical costs, including land and financing, currently account for over 20% of the total cost, especially land use costs. The implementation standards vary across regions, and some policies are worth discussing.
02 Photovoltaic power generation is difficult to solve due to its integration into the grid.
The National Energy Administration proposes to implement "nearby consumption" for distributed photovoltaic power generation, but there are differences in the construction of power grids in different regions, which poses many challenges for the consumption and integration of photovoltaic power generation into the grid. Li Hu, Director of the Energy Research Office of State Grid Jiangsu Economic Research Institute, stated that different levels of power grids face different problems, such as line constraints and section constraints in the distribution network, In 2020, the maximum transmission of electricity from northern Jiangsu to the south across the river reached 17.211 million kilowatts, reaching the transmission limit. If new energy in northern Jiangsu continues to develop in the future, it is necessary to increase transmission capacity. Not only is it a consumption problem at the level of the large power grid, but the power infrastructure in rural areas also urgently needs to be further upgraded. The deputy mayor of a county-level city stated that the rural power grid is relatively weak, and the volatility characteristics of photovoltaic power generation will exacerbate the fluctuations of the rural power grid. "For many township enterprises, it is easy to cause problems such as decreased product quality." Several industry insiders said that the volatility problem of photovoltaic power generation is temporarily "unsolved". To solve the consumption problem, in addition to continuing to strengthen technological innovation, photovoltaic enterprises The mutual cooperation between market entities such as power grid enterprises.
In the later stage of 2003, operation and maintenance still face many difficulties.
For the industry and commerce, the "spontaneous self use" characteristics of distributed photovoltaics have significant economic benefits for energy conservation and emission reduction in enterprises. However, for a large number of household photovoltaic users, how to find profit points has become the key to healthy development in the later stage. At present, carbon trading and green power trading are mostly centralized and not open to small and medium-sized enterprises, "said Geng Lei, General Manager of China New Energy Development. Due to obstacles in the transaction process, the expected return on investment of the project decreases, and the company becomes unprofitable, which will affect the later operation and maintenance. Industry insiders have admitted that a photovoltaic rooftop project invested nearly 700000 yuan in collective economy in a certain village yields less than 30000 yuan per year, while areas such as schools with already low electricity costs will have lower returns on building BIPV. Several industry insiders also stated that in the global trend of "carbon reduction", it is imperative to explore the recycling and utilization of waste photovoltaic modules.


Technological innovation remains the key to solving the problem

  In response to the above challenges, enterprises have not waited for policies, but have launched pioneering explorations around technological innovation. New technology has become the focus of enterprises' efforts. In recent years, new types of batteries, including heterojunctions and perovskites, have rapidly developed, providing alternative paths for cost reduction and efficiency improvement in distributed photovoltaic construction. The flexible perovskite solar cell modules developed by Daisho Micro Nano Technology are expected to be installed in fields such as car roofs and iron towers. Currently, the production capacity is being expanded from the current 10MW to 100MW. The lightweight and flexible monocrystalline silicon modules developed by Daycare Photovoltaics have recently received a purchase order of 6.6321 million yuan from Taiji Industry. Zhu Yixin, General Manager of Jiangsu Hehui Comprehensive Smart Energy at State Power Investment Corporation, stated that every time the manufacturing scale of photovoltaic panels doubles, the fixed cost of products will decrease by 25%. With the increase in the quantity of new batteries, the resulting comprehensive advantages will become more apparent. The 'new platform' has become a common choice for many enterprises.
Household photovoltaics are like 'ants moving', where individual users are relatively scattered and the entire project process is very complex, requiring systematic construction, "said Wang Zhihua, Manager of Zhengtai Anneng Public and Government Affairs Department. The company explores the 'photovoltaic planet' by providing training to agents, operators, business developers, and engineering construction personnel to ensure the quality of distributed power station construction and operation and maintenance services.
Trina Solar builds an information platform to connect the data flow between enterprises and suppliers, within enterprises, and between enterprises and users, achieving transparent management of various links such as front-end, operation, procurement, production, logistics, and services. This platform will not only serve Tianhe's distributed power plants, but also serve friends, "said Gao Jifan. The "new model" contains the possibility of solving problems. Photovoltaic+energy storage "has become an important mode of distributed photovoltaic construction, but multiple respondents stated that building energy storage power stations separately for each project has problems of resource dispersion and low utilization rate." Shared energy storage "may become a breakthrough idea. Shared energy storage is currently mainly used for peak shaving and frequency regulation in large power plants or grid sides, and has had successful cases in the northwest region. With the acceleration of distributed project construction, shared energy storage may be more applied in distributed power plants in the next three to five years. "said Han Guang, Director of Photovoltaic Channel Products at Hewang Electric.