The solar PV technology is experiencing a fast technological development for last few years. Also, few years back no solar company was able to reach 1GW mark, but in 2014 all the top 10 companies are above 1 GW of panel shipments. These top 10 suppliers are able to ship more than 24 GW of the solar panels in 2014, catering around 47% of the total demand in the world. It is quite interesting to note that 7 out of 10 manufacturers are from China, 2 are from Japan and one is from USA. China is the largest global market in the world with largest domestic solar modules demand.
Let's look at the top 10 solar panel suppliers in 2014:
(1) Trina Solar
(2) Yingli Green Energy
(3) Canadian Solar
(4) Jinko Solar
(5) JA Solar
(6) Hanwha Solarone
(9) First Solar
A consolidated view
Country-wise shipments in 2014
The firms are focussing on the large production capacities so to achieve economies of scale and launch panels at lower prices in the market. The positions are changing very fast in last few years. First Solar positions declined from number 2 slot to number 6 in 2013 and number 9 in 2014. Suntech used to be number 1 company in 2010 but it was near bankruptcy in 2012. The Chinese manufacturers are clearly focussing of large production capacity so as provide panels at cheaper rate. The Japanese groups Sharp and Kyocera related to electronics industry background and are well diversified groups. The US Company First Solar is making thin film Cd-Te panels to become more competitive. The manufacturer cannot survive unless it makes profit.
Moreover, the solar industry has become highly competitive; the top companies need to evaluate new technology constantly to remain in the race. The solar industry is going to grow at an average rate of 10%-15% with Asia pacific region will one of the largest growth drivers and major contributors will be China, Japan and India.
(Main Data source: Wikipedia & IHS)