A number of large solar manufacturers dominate the solar landscape, most of whom are based in China, Canada, and South Korea. Here, we will look at who the big names are how they came to master the global marketplace.
1. Jinko Solar
This Chinese photovoltaic and solar project developer is based in Shangrao. They made their debut as wafer manufacturers in 2006 and have since greatly expanded their offerings. In 2010 they had their IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The bulk of Jinko Solar’s projects are within China thanks to generous government initiatives. For the same reason, they have recently looked to India as Indian government initiatives are aggressively promoting solar development. Jinko Solar operates in over 20 countries today and continues to grow. Many attribute their indisputable success to the lowest production costs in the industry.
2. Trina Solar
Another Chinese Solar company, Trina Solar is based in Jiangsu province and was founded in 1997. It became publicly traded on the NYSE in 2006, making it a pioneer of the Chinese solar industry. This company has made a number of technological breakthroughs in its history, having broken 18 world records for silicon cell efficiency and solar module power output in the last 7 years. Their track record for innovation and their countless satisfied customers have earned Trina Solar industry-wide fame.
3. Canadian Solar
Founded in 2001 and listed on NASDAQ in 2006, this Photovoltaic company is another leading manufacturer of solar panels and by far the most successful Canadian P.V. company. They provide solar panels for residential projects right up to utility-scale solar energy solutions. Having spent over $600 million USD on research and development, Canadian Solar is truly a research powerhouse and global innovator. Beyond being an industry leader, Canadian Solar prides itself on being a company that has a human touch. Whether it be HR solutions, supply chain management, production quality or contributing to local communities, this company wants consumers to know it cares about people.
4. JA Solar
Based in Shanghai, this P.V. Company was founded in 2005, listed on NASDAQ in 2007, and engineers, manufactures and sells its solar cells and modules all over the world. JA Solar has done particularly well in European markets, including Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands. EuPD Research, an international market research firm, awarded JA Solar the “Top Brand PV Seal” three years running. This accolade, based on product quality and attentive customer service, gives JA Solar a competitive edge in the European market.
5. Hanwha Q CELLS
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Hanwha Q CELLS is a solar cell and module manufacturer. They offer an extremely wide range of products, from residential solutions to utility-scale solar power plants. Hanwha Q CELLS is a part of the Hanwha Group and is the result of a merger of Q CELLS and SolarOne, founded in 1999 and 2004 respectively. They have been awarded the EuPD Research “Top Brand PV Seal” for 5 consecutive years in Europe, and three consecutive years in Australia.
Although there are many other successful, innovative, photovoltaic companies, these five are titans of the industry who have shaped the current PV solar landscape. The reason so many of these companies are Chinese is partly due to Government incentives. If governments around the world continue to incentivize the solar industry and buyer perspectives continue to adapt, who knows who might be on this list in five years’ time.