Report: China home to five of top 10 solar module makers
By Erik Siemers
Oregon's solar energy tax credits are held back by budget concerns.
Five of the world’s top 10 solar module manufacturers are based in China, accounting for 22.4 percent of the market, according to a new report.
The report from Lux Research underscores the struggles facing Germany panel-maker SolarWorld AG, the 10th-ranked producer on the list that, through its Hillsboro-based North American headquarters, is embroiled in an effort to counter Chinese government subsidies by seeking tariffs on imported Chinese panels.
The top 10 companies combined produced 12.5 gigawatts worth of solar modules, representing 44 percent of the global market.
Though the list is led by an American manufacturer — Arizona-based First Solar, with 2 gigawatts of production in 2011, or 7 percent of the market — the next three spots are Chinese brands: Suntech Power (6.5 percent market share), Yingli Green Energy (5.5 percent), and Trina Solar (4.9 percent).
It’s not only the Chinese that are on the rise.
The Lux report noted how Japan’s Sharp — which bases its U.S. solar operations in Camas, Wash. — and South Korea’s Hanwha Solar One joined the top 10, an indication of both countries’ interest in boosting their share of the market to match-up with Chinese competition.
SolarWorld, meanwhile, gained another ally in its trade case against China.
The SolarWorld-led Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing on Wednesday said Somerset, N.J.-based panel-maker MX Solar USA is now the third company to go public with their participation in the China trade case.
They join SolarWorld and Milwaukee, Wisc.-based Helios Solar Works, which declared its support last week.
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