First Solar, Sharp defend turf against China's global PV domination

22. August 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Edgar Meza

While First Solar remains the leading PV module supplier in the U.S. and India and Sharp in Japan, Chinese rivals, benefitting from the wave of insolvencies in the West, have dominated the rest of the globe over the past year.

NPD Solarbuzz graph

The leading solar module suppliers by key territory.

Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers have become the leading module suppliers to seven of the top ten geographic regions, according to market research firm NPD Solarbuzz.

The latest NPD Solarbuzz Module Tracker Quarterly examines shipment rankings for the trailing twelve month period ending June 30.

Only First Solar, which boasts leading market shares in the United States and India, and Sharp, which has the leading share in Japan, "are preventing Chinese suppliers from dominating in all global regions," the report found.

In addition, Chinese tier 1 suppliers Yingli, Suntech, Trina and Canadian Solar hold the leading positions across seven of the ten key regions, which include Canada, the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Japan, China, the rest of Asia and Australia.

"Within China, the largest market for 2013, Chinese suppliers command almost 100% market share," NPD Solarbuzz said. Just three companies, Yingli, Jinko Solar and Hareon Solar, have supplied 40% of the Chinese market over the past twelve months.

In the emerging regions of Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and emerging Asian countries, the report found strong competition from Western and Japanese suppliers, including Conergy, Sharp, REC Solar, SolarWorld and Kyocera. Western and Japanese solar manufacturers dominated the PV industry’s supplier rankings lists up to 2005.

Other leading Chinese suppliers, such as Jinko Solar, Renesola, JA Solar and Hanwha SolarOne, have been increasing their market shares across almost all geographic regions this year.

"Many Western PV suppliers are exiting the industry or filing for insolvency," said NPD Solarbuzz Vice President Finlay Colville. "Therefore, the solar industry has now become dependent on the volume of supply from China to move from a 30 GW industry to above 50 GW over the next two years. This raises further questions over the effectiveness of domestic protectionism measures being considered within most regions or countries today."

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