Solar prices drop up to 25%

Surge in imports drive historic lows, inverter prices remain stable

Ehtesham Mufti May 12, 2024
“Pakistan and China are a perfect match for collaboration on renewable energy (solar PV) as China is a globally known giant in renewable energy technology, while Pakistan needs to move away from thermal for power generation,” stated a KTrade Securities solar PV industry report. PHOTO: CHINA ECONOMIC NET


Solar prices have dropped by 15% to 25% due to widespread imports and increased supply relative to consumption in the country. This has made solar panels available at historically low levels in the local market for consumers. Faisal Bawani, the importer of solar panels of leading brands, told The Express Tribune that the cost of solar panels per watt has further decreased by Rs7 to Rs13 in the last four months due to the increase in supply compared to consumption. He noted that 4GW of solar panels, containing 12,000 containers, were imported into the country during 2023, while 7.5GW solar panels, containing 22,500 containers, were imported into the country from January 2024 to April 2024. As a result, the per watt prices of different types of solar panels in the local market have decreased from Rs45 and Rs53 to Rs38 and Rs40.

Market sources suggest that one reason for the decrease in the prices of solar panels is the halt in imports of solar panels from China to the United States, European countries, and India, along with the reduction of solar panel prices by 1.5 to 2 cents per watt from China.

Bawani mentioned that China is offloading its stocks of finished solar panels and manufacturing new panels of 610, 650, and 670 watts of new versions with HJT technology. He added that Pakistan consumes 2000 containers of solar panels every month. Although the prices of solar panels are decreasing, the prices of solar inverters remain stable. Currently, the price of 3 to 4KVA inverters is Rs80,000 to Rs120,000. The price of 5 to 6KVA inverters ranges from Rs1,50,000 to Rs220,000, while the price of a 10KVA inverter is Rs250,000 to Rs3,25,000.

Importers in the market who had imported solar panels at high prices have become nervous due to the ongoing price war because they have to sell their stock only at prevailing prices to compete in the local market. Bawani remarked that the solar panel business is a fast-moving business, but due to the impact of the real estate business in the last few months, apart from the real estate sector, people associated with various industrial sectors and trades have also joined this business. They entered into solar panel import contracts indiscriminately and multiplied the consumption of solar panels in the market. This has not only led to a price war for solar panels, but many importers have been forced to sell solar panels at a price lower than their import cost.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2024.

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