JinkoSolar says battery storage to drive new burst in rooftop solar uptake

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World’s biggest solar module supplier JinkoSolar says Australian solar market set for rebound as households adopt battery storage, and large scale sector takes off.

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The world’s biggest manufacturer of solar modules, JinkoSolar, says the Australian solar market is set for renewed growth in coming years as households add and expand systems to take advantage of battery storage, and the large scale solar sector also takes off.

JinkoSolar has become both the leading maker of solar modules worldwide and the biggest supplier of modules in the Australian rooftop solar market in the last year.

kinko chairmanIts chairman, Xiande Li, told RenewEconomy in an interview last week that the company expects the expiry of premium feed in tariffs in NSW at the end of the year, and in other states, will trigger renewed demand for rooftop solar.

“Our partners are seeing significantly increased demand for battery storage from the residential rooftop market, albeit from a small base,” Li said.

“2016 seems to be the year of the first mover in battery storage with many companies entering the Australian market.”

This is being partly driven by the expiry of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, where more than 146,000 households and small businesses will find themselves paying electricity bills next year after paying little or nothing.

“The average system size installed under the program was only around 2kW, so many of those households and businesses will be looking to upgrade to larger solar arrays connected to battery storage to keep their electricity bills low.

“With the average system size installed in Australia now being above 5kW, we are expecting this to translate into growth in the residential market beginning in New South Wales in 2017 and continuing across the country as battery costs continue to fall.”

The large scale market is also expected to grow quickly. Some 480MW of projects won grants from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in its large scale solar tender, but Li says he expects many other projects to go ahead.

“We remain confident that many of the projects that did not receive funding will ultimately be built,” he said.

“There are numerous other utility scale solar projects outside the ARENA process at various stages of development that will be economical based on the rising cost of wholesale electricity and LGCs, and the growing interest from investors that see solar PV as a low risk long term investment with strong returns.”

Li says there is a clear change in the market mood from just a few years ago, when the renewable energy target was under review, and the industry virtually ground to a halt.

It would have been very easy to have purely chased domestic/commercial rooftop business during the period when the Government decided to undertake the RET review. The delays and shifts in approach caused many projects to be cancelled or delayed. Everything just ground to a halt.

“JinkoSolar understood that Australia is a nation of progressive thinkers and that the huge uptake of roof top solar indicated a collective drive towards an uptake of  clean, renewable energy.

“We felt it would only be a matter of time before the political landscape changed providing future certainty for large scale projects.

“There is no doubt that the tables have turned and Australia is looking forward to a bright future as more large scale solar farms come on line.”

Last week it was revealed that JinkoSolar had joined forces with Japanese company Marubeni to offer the lowest ever price for large scale solar – $US24.20/MWh – for a big project in Abu Dhabi. The offer will be reduced to $US23/MWh if the solar farm is upgraded in size to 1.1GW.

The bid was thought to reflect both falling module prices and the prospect of a global glut, as companies such as JinkoSolar and others add new manufacturing capacity.

The interview with Li was conducted before the tender was revealed and JinkoSolar has declined to comment until the outcome of the tender is known.

Li did say that the price of modules has dropped in response to some oversupply from the China, Japan and UK markets. “Our view is that price is bottoming now in response to the market oversupply, and there is little chance of the price falling much lower in 17/18. “

JinkoSolar has invested in manufacturing and technology efficiencies to drive down the cost per watt, including 1GW of mono wafer capacity for the production of our PERC modules. Mono and PERC are considered to be the key technologies for future module production.

“Our Mono Perc solution is generating a lot of interest, as is the Eagle Dual and our Jinko Smart modules with embedded SolarEdge and Maxim Integrated optimisers,” Li says.

“We expect global demand to remain strong in FY17 led by the United States, China and India. We are confident that China will install 20GW+ in 2017 driven by the government mandated installation programs.”

 

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9 Comments
  1. Charlie 3 years ago

    I really doubt there will be a quick response at the end of NSW solar bonus scheme by upscaling existing PV from say 2kW to 5KW in order to connect to a battery storage. There will be a significant period of reckoning.

    • Roger Brown 3 years ago

      I think the reckoning has already started in some of the 146,000 NSW homes , with the start of the 4.5 cents/kwh new power deal. They have 3mths to decide what they can do to reduce their bill$ ? No rush .

  2. howardpatr 3 years ago

    Jinko and many others will be closely watching SolPad.

    Early days and much to find out, especially about the solid state batteries being used but it does seem that the technologies involved are major breakthroughs.

    See http://solpad.com/

  3. Kenshō 3 years ago

    Grid-connect inverter technology was always a backward step in technology although it was cheap. Makes PV vulnerable to grid outages when poles and wires inevitably fail during natural disaster, when people most urgently need power. The post-mortem after the SA weather event will be a good indication of how the mainstream media sees renewable energy in a crisis.

  4. Kenshō 3 years ago

    It is amazing how selfish and short sighted most people often are, viewing PV/storage primarily in financial tipping points, rather than placing the security and well-being of their families first before purchasing a myriad of luxury items. Now in SA lives will be lost as a result and people will look to who to blame other than their own lack of preparations. I’ve made preparations. Power with triple redundancy and water with double redundancy. I’ve considered and provided for those in my care on this property.

    • MaxG 3 years ago

      I am glad I wasn’t… our goal was not increased consumption, but a challenge on how many things and more so bills we could get rid off (and live happily ever after). Well… we only pay land tax, Internet, car and trailer insurance and $15 p.a. for a mobile phone. That’s it!
      I now only work 3 months per year, and have become the most free man I have ever been. Time to think, create and live — no rat-race… no TV … but total happiness.

      • Kenshō 3 years ago

        On #adelaidestorm on twitter there’s people in the SA storm, who didn’t know the rest of the state lost power because they were off grid and just happened to see it on the ABC news. Though even a cheap hybrid PV/storage setup like mine would have given afternoon and overnight battery backup for $7.6k. My setup has been through two outages lasting 6 hours each.

  5. Kenshō 3 years ago

    In the coming days we will watch all the ducking and weaving, all the smoke and mirrors, all the shifting blame. The reality is anyone anywhere, who owns a property, can take responsibility for their part of a distributed grid. Weather events give us an opportunity to re-evaluate the design of our properties. Additionally this adds resilience to communities.

  6. Kenshō 3 years ago

    Despite what mainstream media will say about the SA crisis, a year ago I’ve started topics on “One Step Off the Grid” forums for disaster proofing our properties and making our communities more resilient – as a result of technology available to us from renewable energy. Those topics can be found under the username Anonymous. A distributed grid is far more reliable in natural disaster from wind, flood and fire. The chief vulnerability is networks.
    https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/forums/

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