Updated on 9th July, 2015
China’s Solar Industry is the biggest in the world with 5 of the biggest Solar Panel Manufacturers being Chinese. The low costs of Chinese Solar Panels made them capture almost 40% of the world’s market in 2010 up from almost 0% in 2005. The remarkable growth in the Chinese Solar Panel Industry has been due to the supportive Government, low labor and capital costs and aggressive competition. Trina Solar has shown the best growth amongst the solar panel producers. China has also got a number of Tier 2 and Tier 3 producers of solar panels. These small solar panel companies sell mostly in the spot market and quote very low prices. The quality of the solar panels of smaller companies is also suspect. Due diligence and Review of Solar Panels is necessary in order to Buy Solar Panels from China.
The Chinese solar industry has witnessed a lot of exits/ buy outs in the past few years. It is now a more consolidated industry, with the major players surviving. The companies have become more mature and are now diversifying into the downstream project business. The major issue that these companies face at hand today is the massive debt, which has led the biggest panel supplier Yingli Green Energy in a bad shape today. LDK Solar is no a longer big name in the industry and Suntech has been acquired by Shunfeng Group. Hanwha Solar One is now Hanwha Q Cells.
Chinese Solar Panel Manufacturers
There are many Chinese Solar Panel Manufacturers as the costs of setting up a Solar Panel Plant is quite low for a basic solar module line and there are no entry barriers. However there are only a few big Solar Panel Companies which have capacities running into hundreds of megawatts per year. There are also a number of big State Owned (SOE) Chinese conglomerates that are entering the Solar Panel Industry.
Here is a list of the Best Chinese manufacturers of Solar Panels:
1. Trina Solar (SOL) is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of solar modules globally. The company was the largest in terms of shipments in 2014. The total shipments total to 7.4 GW since 2007. The company is also the lowest cost manufacturers of PV modules, with a strong brand name. Trina Solar is a vertically integrated solar company and is now strengthening its downstream business as well. The company has its production base in China but is now expanding its manufacturing base in South-East Asia as well, to overcome trade barriers. The company recently developed the most efficient silicon solar cells.
2. Hanwha Q Cells Co. Ltd. (HQCL) – was recently formed in February 2015, as a result of merger of Hanwha SolarOne with Hanwha Q Cells. Hanwha Q Cells is now the largest manufacturer of solar cells and panels. The company is also present in the downstream development and EPC business. The entity now has a cell manufacturing capacity of 3GW, which is the largest solar cell capacity in the world. it is headquartered in Seoul South Korea and has presence in Germany, China and Malaysia.
3. Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd. (SHUNF) – is a manufacturer and seller of solar wafers, cells and panels. Suntech which was the world’s biggest producer of solar panels in 2010 and was one the first companies to set up operations in China is now a part of the Shunfeng group. Shunfeng has plans to increase its solar installations to 10 GW by 2016. Acquisition of Wuxi Suntech in April 2014 increased the production capacity by 2.5 GW and also increased revenues.
4. Canadian Solar (CSIQ) – Canadian Solar is also amongst the three largest suppliers of solar modules globally and also amongst the industry’s lowest cost manufacturers of solar panels. The Company is headquartered in Canada with factories in China and Ontario. Canadian Solar has a strong downstream project development business, with a track record of installing 8 GW of solar modules in more than 70 countries in the last decade. CSIQ has an internal cell manufacturing capacity of 1.4 GW and the company is also planning a cell and module capacity expansion.
5. Jinko Solar (JKS) – Jinko Solar has shown the fastest growth rates in the Chinese Solar Panel Industry. It is amongst the best solar stocks, being a low cost vertically integrated solar product value chain. It has large manufacturing capacities of solar cells, wafers and modules and is planning a new Malaysian facility for cells and modules. The company also has a presence in the downstream project business. It is also the lowest cost producer of solar products
6. JA Solar (JASO) – JA Solar was a pure play crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturer, but gradually diversified into module manufacturing as well. It is also an OEM supplier. It is a low cost vertically integrated company, with large manufacturing capacities also having presence in the downstream project business. JA Solar has a strong presence in Japan and China.
7. Renesola (SOL) – was a full-fledged polysilicon manufacturer and supplier, when it diversified into the solar panel manufacturing. ReneSola also diversified into the profitable downstream solar project business, with presence in the other solar products market as well. The company is now planning to completely shut its OEM business, changing its business focus quite frequently. The company is facing huge debt pressures currently.
8. Yingli Green Energy (YGE) – Yingli Green Energy is one of the oldest Chinese companies and was the largest solar panel suppliers globally. is a vertically integrated company covering the entire PV industry value chain, ranging from crystalline polysilicon ingots and wafers, PV cells and modules to PV systems. However, the company is now under huge debt pressures. Companies like Renesola and Yingli were the top performers in the solar industry, with quality solar products. However the rising debt have exerted too much pressure on the companies’ performances.
9. China Sunenergy (CSUN) – CSUN is a NASDAQ-listed leading manufacturer of solar cells and modules and closely affiliated with the renowned China Electrical Equipment Group. It has also diversified into project business. It was established in 2004. The company has a market capitalization of $19.5 million and is amongst the smallest trading Chinese solar stocks. China Sunenergy has its markets in China, Japan and India.
10. Trony Solar – Trony Solar is the largest solar thin film producer in China and uses a-Si technology to produce solar panels used mostly in off-grid applications. The company uses its own custom made equipment and manages to get decent margins for its products. The company recently listed on the HK stock exchange.
11. ET Solar – is a quasi vertically integrated solar equipment manufacturer with presence in Europe, North America and Australia. ET Solar offers high-quality modules, inverter, tracker, BIPV, PV Kit and other solar products in more than 50 countries and regions in the whole world. Worldwide more than 500MW projects are already finished.
12. CNPV – is one of the bigger Tier 2 Chinese solar panel manufacturers with its factories based in China. It makes ingots, wafers, cells and solar modules, having application in on-grid and off-grid residential, commercial, industrial and utility scale applications throughout the world. The company was started in 2006 and sells its products in number of counties, such as Spain, Germany, France, US, South Korea and India. The company manufactures a wide variety of both monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon modules ranging from 10W to 305W.
13. CEEG – or China Electric Equipment Group Corporation was founded in 1990 and is based in Nanjing, China and is a China state owned company. CEEG is one of the top 15 Chinese solar module manufacturers and sells solar panels under the CEEG Brand. CEEG Standard modules are designed for both residential and commercial, rooftop and ground-mounted, as well as on-grid and off-grid photovoltaic projects. The CEEG group is one of the top two manufacturers of electrical transformers in China.
14. Sunlink – SunLink PV was founded in 2004 and they sell 5 W to 315 W both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. The company has a module production capacity of 500 MW and solar cell production capacity of 200 MW. They have IEC 61215, IEC 61730 Ed.2, UL1703 certifications. The company has deployed its products in over 20 countries.
15. Talesun – is an international manufacturer of solar cells and modules. The photovoltaic solar cells and modules are manufactured in China and the company has offices in three locations Munich, San Jose and Shanghai. The manufacturing plant is expected to reach 3 GW of capacity by the end of 2014. The company manufactures both monocrystalline modules, with output between 170W – 310W and polycrystalline modules, with output between 220W – 310W. The company was included in the Tier 1 List of Module Manufacturers by Bloomberg, amongst top 10 companies.
16. Hareon Solar – came into existence in 2004. In 2011, its solar cell capacity exceeded 1.7 GW, and its module capacity reached 900 MW. It is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The company’s main products include solar cells and modules, polycrystalline silicon wafers and monocrystalline silicon wafers
17. Chint Astroenergy – founded in 2006, the company is the first large scale producer of high-efficiency thin film PV modules in mainland China, and has been a trusted provider of monocrystalline and polycrystalline PV modules. Astronergy is a provider of monocrystalline modules, polycrystalline modules, and high efficiency a-Si/µc-Si tandem junction thin film modules. Astronergy’s parent company, the Chint Group is a leader in low-voltage electrical power transmission & distribution industries.
Also Read on GWI Solar Panel Reviews of some of these companies.
Chinese Solar Panel Prices and Costs
The Chinese solar panel priced at around 55 cents/watt currently are the lowest in the world and are sold at a substantial discount to the European and American solar panels. The Chinese solar panels were the cheapest and as a result of which the international companies in US and Europe resorted to importing large quantities of solar panels and cells from China. This led to the advent of Anti-dumping duties, which was first imposed by US on China, to protect its domestic manufacturers. This Anti-dumping duty revolution has become very large now, with a number of other nations like Europe, India, Canada etc joining in. Also the duties have been imposed on the Taiwanese manufacturers as well from where large quantities of solar cells used to be imported.
Effects of The US Anti-dumping Policy
The imposition of the US government’s anti-dumping duties against the Chinese solar panel companies, has led to a vociferous protest from sections of the Chinese government. Many Chinese polysilicon companies have closed down due to their higher costs due to stiff competition from non-Chinese players. The Chinese government also had a big reason to retaliate against the US solar companies. The imposition of duties has increased the cost of solar panel for the end users. The companies have looked at ways to circumvent these duties by establishing their manufacturing bases at locations other than China and Taiwan.
Other Greenworldinvestor articles
- Cheapest Solar Panels – Which Companies Sell at the Lowest Price and Why you should avoid Distributors/Wholesalers
- Solar Panels in India – Complete Guide on Buying Low Cost PV Panels from Solar Energy System Manufacturers