Lux Research reveals top ten cell manufacturers

20. January 2012 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger

Lux Research's latest Solar Supply Tracker analysis names the top ten cell manufacturers. It also reveals that demand in Europe is on the rise, but European manufacturers are having problems remaining cost competitive.

Can European cell manufacturers remain cost competitive?

The top 10 companies, that constitute 44 percent of global production, include some of the Chinese crystalline silicon cell manufacturing giants, such as Suntech, Yingli and Trina. Neo Solar Power, which is a Taiwanese cell manufacturer, entered the top 10 for the first time with three percent of global production.

Norway-based cell manufacturer Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), for example, have had to reduce their production at two facilities in Norway by approximately 400 MW in the last two months. Their facility is Singapore is still at full capacity.

Lux Research's Fatima Toor, who led the Solar Supply Tracker, says, "The Asian share in cell manufacturing will continue to rise and go  more than 50 percent, even though risks of trade disputes and tariffs loom in the western hemisphere. Moreover, polysilicon production has shifted to Asia during the last quarter while module production had already shifted to Asia in late 2010."

Lux Research's findings also reveal that module prices are at an all-time low with major manufacturers selling their wares for around $1/Watt to get through their inventories. This price is definitely unsustainable and it makes the cost competition cut-throat as Lux Research states.

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