If the black 2012 is not to be seen yesterday, will the Sino-U.S. trade wars come again? Will it be another winter of PV in China?
On March 23rd, U.S. President Trump announced that the United States will impose tariffs on Chinese goods worth 60 billion U.S. dollars worth of steel products, and will take measures to limit China’s investment in U.S. technology industries. The Chinese government immediately responded, and China will Accompanied by the end and took all necessary measures to firmly defend their legitimate interests - The Ministry of Commerce announced the list of suspended concessions for the US import of steel and aluminum products 232 measures, and imposed tariffs on approximately US$3 billion of U.S. imports (see Figure 1). A trade war between China and the United States broke out soon.
In fact, as the first battlefield of this trade war, the photovoltaic industry has already started the war at the beginning of the year. On January 22, 2018, Trump signed relevant laws and approved the imposition of high tariffs on imported photovoltaic products (4 (year), the first year's tax rate is 30%, followed by a drop of 5%. The tax rate will be 15% by 2021.
For China's photovoltaic industry, the black 2012 will no longer appear yesterday, and the fall of PV giants such as Suntech in Wuxi does not seem to have subsided. Nowadays, the Sino-US trade war is on the verge of another, is this again another Chinese PV industry? After a few years, has China's PV companies been awakened and can China's PV industry get rid of the Thucydides trap?
Around 2012, China's photovoltaic industry is still at the initial stage of development. In terms of equipment manufacturing, most of the key equipment for solar cell production comes from foreign suppliers, and this cost alone accounts for 80% of the company's total cost; in terms of crystalline silicon refining, the domestic Silicon wafer manufacturing companies generally lack the most essential crystalline silicon refining technology, and silicon ingots mainly rely on US imports. Domestic companies only play the role of processing of incoming materials, and their added value is extremely low. In terms of market development, Chinese photovoltaic companies rely heavily on exports. 2011 In 2012, China’s solar battery supply ratio was as high as 48%, while China’s demand for solar cells accounted for only 0.4% (see Figure 2). The general lack of core technologies relied heavily on foreign markets, and the “two on the outside, subject to external” abnormal development. The model is seriously constrained by the continuous development of China's photovoltaic industry. Changes in overseas markets have become the lifeblood of China's photovoltaic companies.
In October 2011, seven photovoltaic companies such as Solar World of the United States filed a complaint with the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission requesting the U.S. government to launch a 'double reverse' survey of 75 photovoltaic companies in China, and impose 100% of the photovoltaic products exported to China. Anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
In the same year, the U.S. government launched an investigation on China’s photovoltaic “double reverse”. In October 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce made a final ruling - the anti-dumping rate of Chinese enterprises was 18.32%-249.96%, and the countervailing duty rate was 14.78%-15.97%. This means that the door to the US PV market will be completely closed to Chinese companies.
As a result of the heavy blow, China's photovoltaic industry fell into the winter, and many industry giants suffered heavy losses. Wuxi Suntech Solar Power Co., Ltd., an established veteran of the photovoltaic industry, declared bankruptcy and reorganization due to capital flow disruption. Black 2012 became a haunting phenomenon. The memory of China's photovoltaic industry on the road to development.
"Photovoltaic Industry Force Awakening"
In the midst of growing pains, the domestic policy makers and the industry have no shortage of reflections. Reducing production costs, actively developing domestic demand, and exploring emerging markets have become the consensus for the Chinese PV industry to seek breakthroughs.
Since 2013, the Chinese government has successively issued policy documents such as "Several Opinions on Promoting the Healthy Development of the Photovoltaic Industry", covering all aspects of the development of the photovoltaic industry such as product manufacturing, market applications, fiscal taxation, prices, subsidies, and land management. By leveraging the power, the crisis seeks opportunities to realize the awakening of the Force.
The first is to significantly reduce costs. With the introduction of a series of policies, the expansion of crystal silicon production capacity and the release of technology dividends, the development of the photovoltaic industry highlights the scale effect, and the industrial cost has been greatly reduced. From the perspective of the photovoltaic industry chain, compared with 2011, the upstream polysilicon, Single-polycrystalline silicon wafers, single-crystal solar cells in the middle reaches, and battery modules, the decline in the cost of downstream photovoltaic power plant systems was more than 80%. Among them, the upstream polysilicon price dropped drastically from 700 yuan/kg in 2011 to 140 yuan/kg in 2017. , The single polycrystalline cell price from 6 yuan / watt to 1.6 yuan / watt in 2017. The cost reduction is the main driving force for the development of the photovoltaic industry.
The second is to focus on the development of domestic demand. The expansion of the domestic market to replace the volatile European and American traditional markets is the consensus of the government and the photovoltaic industry practitioners. In 2013, the State Council issued a number of policy documents such as 'Guofa (2013) No. 24' and other documents. , Re-introduced on-grid tariffs, subsidy funds, and on-grid management and other aspects of preferential measures to encourage the development of photovoltaic power plants to promote the development of the domestic market.
Under the guidance of the policy, the total domestic PV installation capacity has been increasing year by year (Figure 3). In 2017, China’s cumulative installed PV capacity has reached 130.25GW, and the newly installed capacity has reached 53.06GW, accounting for 54% of the global new installed capacity. World leader (Figure 4).
In addition, with the PV leader in poverty alleviation, the demand for the PV market in China will continue to expand. Household photovoltaics as a result of the cost reduction in the photovoltaic industry and the continued availability of affordable Internet properties will become another major demand for China's PV market in the future. There is no doubt that strengthening the domestic demand market is an important way to resist the fluctuations in the international market.
The third is to open up new markets. Since 2012, China's PV industry exports have stabilized at US$13 billion to US$16 billion, and the total volatility is small. However, with the rise of the emerging economies of India and South Africa, a large number of energy needs have been spawned. In particular, the emphasis on new energy such as photovoltaics will undoubtedly have a huge impact on China's photovoltaic industry's exporting country structure. The export share of developed countries represented by the United States has fallen sharply, and India and other emerging countries have become the major export regions of China's photovoltaic industry.
With the implementation and promotion of 'One Belt and One Road', China's photovoltaic industry will realize the commerce siphon effect through deep integration with emerging markets, and will truly realize a diversified export structure, further reducing the impact of international market fluctuations on China's photovoltaic industry.
"Not afraid of the Thucydides trap"
Thucydides, an ancient Greek historian, once proposed that a newly emerged great power will inevitably challenge the existing great powers, and the existing great powers will inevitably respond to this threat. Therefore, the war becomes inevitable. This is already in the international political relationship. Iron law.
There is no doubt that the trade war between China and the United States is a phantom reappearance of the Thucydides trap in the economic and trade field. In 2012, China's photovoltaic industry suffered heavy losses and struggled. However, with the reduction of production costs, active development of domestic demand, and the gradual development of emerging markets China’s photovoltaic industry is gradually ridding itself of the dependence on the developed markets of the United States and other countries with a favorable development trend. It has built a virtuous market structure that effectively integrates a strong domestic demand market and a diverse and stable external market. The trade barriers are influential. At the same time, the photovoltaic industry should also use this as an opportunity to actively adjust the industrial structure, eliminate backward production capacity, continuously improve system integration capabilities through technological innovation, and strive to develop new markets with high quality and reliable system solutions, achieve new breakthroughs, and completely get rid of Xixi Ender Trap Phantom.