With the acceleration of the process of industrialization in developing countries around the world and the expansion of the world's population, human demand for energy has reached an unprecedented level. The world energy situation is in urgent need, and it is the consensus of all countries to seek more forms of resources. As a gift from the sun, solar photovoltaic power generation is a sustainable and clean energy source. Driven by the energy situation and technology, the global photovoltaic industry has developed rapidly in recent years. Adhesive film is a kind of packaging material for photovoltaic modules. It is placed between the tempered glass or back sheet of the module and the solar cells to encapsulate and protect the cells.
The Market Demand for Film Is Increasing Year by Year
Adhesive film is one of the necessary materials for photovoltaic packaging, and its market growth will inevitably be driven by the demand of the entire photovoltaic market. Therefore, the newly installed capacity in the downstream of the photovoltaic industry provides strong support for the development of the packaging material industry. The market demand for adhesive film products has been increasing. Data show that the global packaging film market in 2019 is about 1.5 billion square meters. Among them, China is the world's largest photovoltaic market, and the domestic film market also accounts for most of the total market, accounting for 72%.
The history of energy transformation is also the history of the development of human society. The photovoltaic industry is undergoing major technological changes in the industry, and all technological changes will have a significant impact on existing module manufacturers. However, compared with other components, the photovoltaic film itself is not affected by technological updates in the industry, so there is no risk of product replacement. No matter how the battery module technology changes, the demand for adhesive films is stable, and no substitutes will appear in the short term. In the cost structure, the cost of solar cells accounted for two-thirds of the total cost of modules, while photovoltaic film only accounted for 4%.
At present, the main packaging materials are EVA film and POE film. EVA film is a kind of thermosetting film, which has great advantages in adhesion, durability, and optical performance, and is widely used in battery components and various optical products. In the global photovoltaic film market structure, transparent EVA film accounts for approximately 69.6% of the market share, white EVA film accounts for approximately 15.5% of the market share, and the POE film market accounts for approximately 12%.
From a demand perspective, the increase in the penetration rate of bifacial modules will also promote the rapid growth of demand for photovoltaic adhesive films. The growth of photovoltaic film is superimposed on the dual drive of double-layer glass modules, and the photovoltaic film industry is expected to enter a new period of development.
Although the biggest competitive advantage of the transparent backplane over the double-glazed glass is lightweight, the transparent backplane has not passed a large number of outdoor experiments and long-term tests, and the actual effect has not been verified. Therefore, double-sided glass packaging should still be the mainstream of double-sided modules. However, it may take some time to solve the shortage of glass in the short term. Therefore, some companies will adopt transparent backplanes on a large scale when there is a shortage of glass.
EVA prices are closely related to upstream oil prices. At present, domestic EVA resin is cheaper than foreign imported products and has certain advantages in exchange rate. At the same time, because the production base is in the local area, this will bring certain cost advantages to photovoltaic film manufacturers.
EVA Film Has Been Replaced by Localization, Domestic Companies Dominate the Global Film Market
Film production technology is relatively mature, and industry competition is fierce. EVA film has strong technical barriers in manufacturing. It has high professionalism in reforming technology, manufacturing process, and main manufacturing equipment, and has strict standards for product shrinkage and light transmission, which is difficult to achieve for the new entry into the industry in a short time. It requires many years of exploration, improvement, and summing up the experience in the production enterprise. The current industry competition pattern is relatively stable, and Foster's leading position in the industry is relatively stable.
Due to the high industrial barriers in film production, the early market resources were mainly monopolized by a few international companies. The rapid growth of China's photovoltaic installations has driven the growth of the photovoltaic module market. The market demand for EVA film has risen rapidly. In 2007, China became the world's largest EVA film demand country.
In the early days, China had a high dependence on imported film technology before the film technology was overcome. In order to get rid of this dilemma, domestic companies dared to catch up and finally achieved a breakthrough in film manufacturing technology through independent research and development or technical cooperation. Since then, the domestic film has begun. After solving the problems of anti-aging and light transmittance of EVA film, they gradually began to cannibalize the market.
With the promotion of domestic demand and the progress of production technology, in 2019, the localization rate of EVA film will exceed 80%. Among them, Foster is not only a leader in domestic EVA film but also a leader in the international photovoltaic film market. Foster occupies half of the global photovoltaic film market.
In the long run, traditional transparent EVA film will continue to play the mainstream role. But with the renovation of power batteries, the demand for POE film and POE film will increase, and the market share of the two is expected to increase in the future. For the photovoltaic industry, the encapsulation film is an important packaging material. Once the film fails, the life of the entire photovoltaic will expire, so the film with a small proportion plays a decisive role in photovoltaic reliability. In the future, as the application scenarios of photovoltaic power generation are diversified, the market demand for high-quality film will gradually increase.
With the rapid development of the photovoltaic industry, China's packaging film market demand continues to grow. However, the development of the entire industry is still at an early stage and is greatly affected by policies. The development of the photovoltaic industry is gradually slowing down towards high quality, high efficiency, and high-end.
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