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First Solar & Sharp The Lone Non-Chinese Solar Module Leaders

It’s no secret, Chinese solar module manufacturers have come along and dominated the solar module market. In 2012, according to IHS, six out of the top ten solar module manufacturers were Chinese companies, including #1 Yingli Green Energy.

Now, a recent Solarbuzz report found that Chinese solar module manufacturers led shipments of solar modules in seven out of ten geographic regions. The only non-Chinese companies to lead a region were US-based First Solar (in the US and India) and Japan-based Sharp (in Japan). Yingli was 31 in Europe, China, and Latin America + Caribbean. Suntech was #1 in the Middle East + Africa and in “Other Asia.” Trina Solar was #1 in Australia. And Canadian Solar was #1 in Canada.

top solar pv manufacturers


Here are some more comments from Solarbuzz:

According to the latest NPD Solarbuzz Module Tracker Quarterly report:

  • Only First Solar (with leading market-share in the U.S. and India) and Sharp (with leading share in Japan) are preventing Chinese suppliers from dominating in all global regions.

  • Up to 2005, Western and Japanese solar manufacturers dominated the supplier rankings lists within the solar PV industry.

  • Chinese Tier 1 suppliers, Yingli, Suntech, Trina, and Canadian Solar hold the leading positions across seven of the 10 key regions.

  • Within China, the largest market for 2013, Chinese suppliers command almost 100% market share. Just three companies, Yingli, Jinko Solar, and Hareon Solar have supplied over one-quarter of the modules to the Chinese market over the past twelve months.

  • Within the emerging regions of Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and Emerging Asia, there has been strong competition from Western and Japanese suppliers, including Conergy, Sharp, REC Solar, SolarWorld, and Kyocera.

  • Other Chinese Tier 1 suppliers, Jinko Solar, Renesola, JA Solar, and Hanwha SolarOne are seeing increased market share across almost all geographic regions in 2013.

Of course, China has cheaper labor than the US, Germany, Japan, and many other countries. As is now well known, the Chinese government has also helped out its solar producers by feeding them handsome servings of subsidies. But the long and short of it is: as with many other things, China has come to dominate the solar module manufacturing sector. Will that change? Or will China solidify its stronghold on this market?

 
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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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