Globally, around 50% of the total solar panel production is handled by only top 20 companies. During the recent years, there have been an exponential rise in using solar energy as the source of electricity and many countries including India, the US and China are setting up targets to start solar powered electricity production. This has led to a steep rise in solar panel production. This is all defined by the dynamics of the market. We bring you this year’s top 20 solar panel manufacturers:
- TRINA SOLAR
Founded in 1997, Trina Solar is the largest manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar panel in the world. It is a pioneer in China’s PV industry and has around 1000 patents in their bucket. Trina Solar has installed around 11 GW across 63 countries and have been awarded for the high power outputs in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The major operations occur in Jiangsu, China where they produce large quantities of solar panels. Trina solar has proved to be the best on ground and third party testing facilities.
- YINGLI SOLAR
Yingli Solar closely competes with Trina Solar to be the largest solar manufacturer in the world with its annual solar panel production capacity of 2.45GW. It is headquartered in Baoding, China and has around 19000 employees with its market presence in around 90 countries including China, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Germany and the US. Yingli Solar is backed up by local customer service in all the countries they operate. Their panels have been proven to work well in a variety of geographies and climatic conditions hence making them the first choice in many countries.
- Canadian Solar Inc.
Canadian Solar manufactures solar cells, solar panels, off grid solar power solutions for around 1000 major customers across 90 countries worldwide. Though the major production happens in China, they have a factory in Ontario, Canada with total production capacity of 3 GW. They have delivered more than 7 GW of solar modules till now. Their newest product is Dymond CS6X-P-FG, which is a 72 cell double-glass module which has replaced traditional polymer back sheet claiming a reduction in annual power degradation and improved reliability and durability.
- Jinko Solar
Jinko Solar manufactures high efficiency solar panel modules in five production facilities spread across China, Portugal, Malaysia and South Africa. Through their superior manufacturing techniques, they have achieved a record conversion efficiency of 16.50%. Jinko solar has an integrated annual capacity of around 8 GW for silicon ingots, wafers, solar cells and solar modules.They are headquartered in Shanghai, China and have sales and marketing offices in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and South Africa.
- First Solar Inc.
Founded in 1999, they have installed over 11 GW of solar worldwide. First Solar manufactures rigid thin film modules and also provides installation and commissioning of utility-scale PV power plants along with providing supporting services that include finance, maintenance and recycling of panels. First Solar is famous for successfully manufacturing Cd-Te based thin film panels and holding multiple records for producing 14% efficiency at $1 per watt in 2009. They have an annual production capacity of 3 GW and have supplied solar modules to more than 100M customers across the world.
- JA Solar
JA Solar was founded in 2005 and established itself as one of the biggest solar cell manufacturers in the world by 2010. With their highly optimized manufacturing setups in mass production, JA Solar is able to produce panels with 5 to 10 Watts of extra power than its rivals for the same capacity. They are located in Ningjin, China and have shipped solar modules all across the world. With an ever increasing demand from Asia and China, they have increased their annual production capacity to 5.5 GW by the end of 2016.
- Sun Power Corp
Sun Power has gone through a series of transformations since its inception. With their cutting edge technologies to design and develop solar panels, to installation, commissioning and customer service they provide on their systems, Sun Power is constantly growing for the best. They supplied their solar panels to NASA Pathfinder in 1997 and since then they have been doing major acquisitions till 2011 with Tenesol SA being their latest acquired company. They have been termed as Silicon Valley’s dominant solar panel manufacturing company in 2014.
- RENE SOLAR
Rene Solar is an international brand that manufactures solar wafers and the silicon material used to manufacture solar cells. With more than 1 GW of OEM capacity spread across 14 countries and 44 offices globally, it offers local sales LED lights, energy storage systems along with solar panels. They have shipped more than 7 GW of solar panels worldwide but their shipments declined in the recent years due to their decision to start developing solar power plants in 2016. Rene Solar was founded in 2005 and has around 6000 employees.
- Hanwha Solar One Limited
Hanwha Solar One is one of the largest solar manufacturers in the world. They produce ingots, solar wafers, solar cells and solar modules. The company was established in 2004 as Solarfun Power Holdings by Linyang Electronics and then got acquired by Hanwha Group in 2010 with 49% shares. Their total production capacity for all the products is around 6 GW annually and it employs more than 13000 employees across the globe.
- Mitsubishi Electric
Mitsubishi Solar Electric is one of the largest producers of high efficiency solar panels and their new product named Diamond Premium has taken the company to the whole new level. These solar panels incorporate four bus bar cells with half cut technology to enhance the panel efficiency and use 100% lead free solder. Diamond Premium has been tested under harsh conditions like areas near salt water and has proved their worth.
- Hareon Solar
Hareon solar manufactures high quality silicon based solar cells and solar panels. Their manufacturing facilities are located in Jiangsu province of China and have an annual solar production capacity of 2.5 GW. The company also focuses on installation of solar power plants and hence shows a keen interest in worldwide ventures in solar power sector. It was founded in 2004 and employs around 6000 people across the globe with a goal to become one of the leading clean energy producers in the world.
- Neo Solar Power
Neo Solar, with its annual solar panel production capacity of around 2 GW is one of the largest solar producers in the world. Commonly called as NSP, their headquarters are located in Hsinchu, Taiwan and manufacture solar modules and solar cells which are top rated in Taiwan and across the globe. NSP has around 3000 employees and is on the verge of achieving a billion dollar average yearly revenue.
Axitec, with its German engineering facilities, is one of the leading global manufacturers of solar PV modules with their global production capacity of around 300 MW. Axitec has their headquarters in New Jersey, the US and has an additional warehouse in California. Their production facilities are in Asia and Europe and follow a complete chain of development and manufacturing of solar modules followed by quality assurance.
- ShunfengInternation Clean Energy (SFCE)
SFCE covers four major business segments which make them one of the largest manufacturers of solar photovoltaic modules in the world and the largest ground mounted and distributed solar power provider in China. They have an annual production capacity of around 2.2 GW for solar cells and 2.4 GW for solar modules. In 2015, they acquired a US based solar cells and panel manufacturer company Suniva with 63.13% stakes. Company’s growth is due to a high demand from China which contributes to around 52% of the total annual sales. SFCE is largest customer is based out of India.
- Risen Energy
Founded in 1986 with its headquarters in Ninghai, China, Risen Energy perform qualitative research and development, manufacturing, sales and services of high performance solar PV panels and other solar based products. The company’s annual production capacity is expected to be around 3 GW by the end of 2016. Risen Energy is present globally and covers Italian, Mexican, Indian and German markets along with a consistent performance locally across China. Company reported around 78% growth in the previous year and around 400% net income.
- Motech Solar
Motech Solar is a subsidiary of Motech Industries and has its headquarters in Taiwan. They started manufacturing mono crystalline and poly crystalline solar cells and modules in 1999 and became the largest manufacturers of solar modules in Taiwan and one of the largest in the world in terms of net production capacity and output. Since its inception, Motech Solar has been expanding across all verticals in the solar power industry and hence providing their customers with better quality and service.
- Longi Silicon
One of the major companies who had made it big in the previous year is Longi with its full focus in p-type mono silicon cell production instead of p-type poly cells. Even though the company is strongly dependent on third party suppliers for the mono wafers, they are setting up a benchmark for the mono cells in the whole value chain.
DelSolar was founded in 2004 with a joint venture between its parent company Delta Electronics and and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) located in Taiwan. They started with production for solar cells in 2015 and now their total annual solar production capacity has crossed 3 GW. The company is engaged in research & development, design and manufacture of solar cells, solar modules and PV systems. Their headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
- Vikram Solar
Vikram solar has been recently identified as one of the biggest manufacturers of high efficiency solar modules and providers of solar energy based solutions in India and globally. They are now present in 5 continents across the globe with annual production capacity crossing over 500 MW in 2015. The company is expecting to touch 2 GW annual production capacity in 2019. The have installed around 130 MW of solar PV plants in India since they started.
- Grape Solar
Grape Solar is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the US and making its mark globally. They started in 2009 with headquarters in Oregon. They claim to be first consumer providers of ‘All Positive Tolerence’ solar panels in the US. They primarily manufacture 280 W solar panels with UL/CEC certifications and have entered into grid tied solar sector in 2010. In the recent years, they have come up with many products including Grape Kit, Go Charger and Rhyno being most popular.
The solar manufacturing market is continuously dominated by China but every year, there is a change in the list of top 20 solar manufacturers in the world as they shift places, drop off the list after stopping operations or emerge as new market leader.