China is expanding rapidly in the global new energy market with increased exports of solar modules and lithium batteries. Chinese manufacturers are adapting technologies for lower cost production and enhanced performance to raise competitiveness, and they are able to respond quickly to the need for customized products from overseas, experts said. The General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced that exports of solar cells and lithium batteries in 2022 increased by 67.8% and 86.7% year-on-year, respectively. Zhou Mi, Senior Researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that the growth of China’s exports of new energy products was the result of rising worldwide demand for such goods, and the trend is likely to continue, buoyed by the global energy transition and recovering economies.
“China’s new energy industry is developing rapidly. Its products, especially solar panels and lithium batteries, are competitive in the global market with low prices and high quality, and relevant companies have gained increasing recognition and a relatively high reputation in the international market, which is also an important driver of export growth,” Zhou said. “Going forward, global demand for low-carbon energy, especially in energy-intensive areas like construction, will continue to boost China’s exports of new energy facilities, which is an opportunity for Chinese companies provided they can ensure supply capacity and advancement of technologies. Meanwhile, further efforts are also needed to reduce costs and increase production efficiency,” Zhou said.
The National Energy Administration (NEA) said China will work to promote international cooperation in the area of clean energy this year by establishing the China-ASEAN and China-Arab clean energy cooperation centers, and by facilitating cooperation with European countries in areas like hydrogen energy, energy storage, wind power and smart energy. “China’s promotion of clean energy cooperation in these regions, which has huge demand for new energies, will offer great business opportunities for companies. Chinese new energy products’ foray into such markets will also promote local firms’ green transition,” Zhou added. Jiang Yali, Solar Analyst at energy research provider BloombergNEF, said China is responsible for more than 75% of the global PV supply chain, and exports of such products have increased significantly in accordance with global growth of around 47% or about 268 gigawatts.
In 2023, there may be more newly production capacity in India, the United States, Southeast Asia, Turkiye and other markets. However, over the short term, they still cannot replace China’s leading position in global PV facility manufacturing, Jiang added. More standards such as carbon emissions requirements may be introduced in the international market, which will also be a challenge for relevant companies, she said, as reported by the China Daily.