According to GTM Research’s recent research note, the top global solar PV cell manufacturers are First Solar (U.S.), Suntech Power (China), Sharp (Japan), Q-Cells (Germany), Yingli Green Energy (China) and other. The top global solar panel manufacturers are First Solar (U.S.), Suntech Power (China), Sharp (Japan), Yingli Green Energy (China), Kyocera (Japan).
As per the the research note, global photovoltaic cell production grew by 51%; from 7.1 GW in 2008 to 10.7 GW in 2009. The production of PV panel grew by 41% over 2008 to 8.9 GW. In 2009’s third and fourth quarters, the majority of PV panels were deployed in Germany. In the last quarter of 2009, an installation of 3 GW volume was created due to the steep declines and subsidy cuts in panel prices.
Shyam Mehta, Senior Analyst of GTM Research, said that 2009 was PV suppliers’ most challenging year. In January, the manufacturers were operating factory utilizations of below 20%. From October to December, the supplies of the same manufacturers were sold out. Mehta added that it would be an understatement to call 2009, a volatile year.
A half of 2009’s solar PV cell production was from Taiwan and China. With a panel and cell production share of 78% and 81%, respectively, crystalline silicon rules the PV technology. In 2009, thin film market share continued to grow from 2008’s panel production of 15% to 22% in 2009. Cadmium telluride-based First Solar, a thin-film producer claimed the largest cell/panel manufacturer title for the first time.