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Photovoltaic Cells Manufacturers Guide – List of Largest Companies in India,China,USA,Korea and Malaysia

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Photovoltaic Cells have grown tremendously in the last few years spurred on by lowering costs and high demand in  European countries like Germany.Photovoltaic Cell Manufacturers have also increased particularly in low labor cost regions of Asia like China and Taiwan.In fact most of the solar panels have solar cells from companies in Asia.Solar Cell Manufacturers have increased their capacity at a fast pace to meet the increasing demand.Currently due to oversupply of Photovoltaic Cells,the prices of solar cells have crashed with top quality solar cell prices almost 50% down from that one year ago.This is one of the best times to install solar cell panels in your roof given the rapid decline in the cost.Most of the independent solar cell suppliers are from Taiwan and some from China.European solar cell producers have mostly disappeared due to the high cost base of the European factories.

Photovoltaic Cells Manufacturers in China

  1. JA Solar – This Chinese company is not only the biggest solar cell producer in the world but is also the lowest cost one as well.The company has grown much faster than the industry due to its low costs and good quality.The company is looking to ship more than 2 GW of Solar Panels and Cells in 2011 with  50% growth.The company has small wafer and module facilities as well but continues to be primarily a solar cell producer
  2. Yingli Green Energy – Yingli Green Energy is one of the oldest Chinese companies and is completely integrated from polysilicon.The company has been expanding rapidly and has one of the lowest cost structures in the industry.Yingli Green Energy has been sponsoring Football in Europe and has started a new line of high efficiency “Panda” Solar Panels.Yingli is the second biggest producer of Solar Panels in China
  3. Trina Solar – Trina Solar is one of the lowest cost manufacturers of Solar Panels in the World right now and also sells it at a very low price.This is the reason that the company in a span of few short years has managed to acquire a substantial  global marketshare.The prices the solar panels being sold are around $340 per 200 watt module.Trina Solar.Like Yingli and Suntech,Trina Solar Panels are one the best quality in China
  4. Hanwha Solar One – The Company which was recently acquired by South Korean Chemicals Giant Hanwha also makes one of the cheapest panels and sells it a very low price.The quality is also quite good and with strong parentage behind it,the solar panels made by the company.Again like Trina Solar,it has very low cost Chinese manufacturing capacity.The company was earlier known as Solarfun.
  5. Canadian Solar – The Company sells a wide variety of solar panels unlike other producers.The Solar Panel Selling Price is also quite cheap.The Company is headquartered in Canada with factories in China and Ontario.Canadian Solar is the 5th biggest producer of Solar Panels in China.
  6. Jinko Solar – Jinko Solar has shown the fastest growth rates in the Chinese Solar Panel Industry.The company is expanding again to become one of the Top 5 Solar Panel Producers in China.Jinko Solar like Trina and Yingli is vertically integrated and has one of the lowest cost solar panel production process.
  7. LDK Solar –  This is the biggest producer of solar wafers that are used by crystalline solar panels.Is expanding rapidly into other parts of the solar supply chain and could break into top 10 solar panel producer in the next couple of years.

Other comapnies are Goldpoly,Hareon,CNPV and hundreds of other smaller players which are facing extinction

Photovoltaic Cells Manufacturers in India

  1. Moser Baer – This is primarily a Solar Panel Production Company which has recently made a big bet to get into the Power Production Space as well.Moser Baer Projects Private in which the Blackstone Group made a $300 million bet  has plans of a 20:80 mix of Green and Dirty Power.
  2. Tata Power / Tata BP Solar – The biggest private utility in India has big plans for Clean Energy as well.Its subsidiary Tata BP Solar is one of the biggest producers of solar panels and cells in the country.The company has huge plans in wind,solar and geothermal energy.It has also invested in a geothermal energy project in Indonesia..
  3. Solar Semiconductor – A Producer of Solar Power Modules and Cells. It has some operations in Solar Installation as well.
  4. IndoSolar
  5. Topsun Solar
  6. Titan Energy
  7. PLG Power
  8. Maharishi Solar
  9. Kotak Urja
  10. Photon Energy Systems
  11. Lanco Solar – A major private utility in India.Has bagged a JNNSM bid to build a big solar thermal plant.Also getting into production of poly,wafers,cell and modules based on c0Si Technology.

Photovoltaic Cells Manufacturers in USA

  1. Sunpower – Sunpower produces the highest efficiency crystalline solar panels in the world.This is a US company like First Solar and has a strong system installation business as well.A offspring of Cypress Semiconductor,it faced tough times due to its higher costs.However seems to be on a recovery path.Failed to expand as rapidly as the Asians in 2010.
  2. Solarworld – Solarworld is the Biggest German producer of solar panels,the company is one of the few to still have operations in Europe and USA.The company has been battered by low cost competition .However Solarworld is strongly expanding in USA as growth slows down in Germany.Solarworld is also entering the polysilicon sector through a JV with Qatar.Only Western company not to have a major factory in Asia.

Photovoltaic Cells Manufacturers in Malaysia

  1. Q-Cells – The largest solar producer of cells in 2008 faced a horrendous 2009 running losses of as high as Euro 1 billion.After restructuring it has moved its factories to Malaysia and has diversified into solar modules and systems.The German company has seen its stock price drop more than 95% from the peak levels.It is using Flextronics as an outsourced module producer for its cells.
  2. Bosch – This German Auto Giant has expanded into Solar Energy by buying up small German companies like Ersol and Aleo Solar.Bosch is now vertically integrated with operations in solar wafers,cells and panels.The company is now moving its factories to Malaysia.
  3. First Solar – First Solar is the only Solar Thin Film Manufacturer in the world and a benchmark for other thin film companies thinking of making it big.The company was promoted by Wal-Mart promoters and has seen remarkable growth in the last few.This US based company uses Cadmium Tellurium (Cd-Te) Technology and  is the lowest cost panel producer in the world today if you don’t include any penalty for low efficiency.Even if you penalize the Cd-Te Technology for its lower efficiency vis-a-vis the higher efficiency crystalline technology,First Solar is clearly the leader with a core cost of 74c/watt.The company has a roadmap of  reducing the cost to 52c/watt by 2014 and given its track record it seems quite achievable.There is little doubt about First Solar’s ability to survive and flourish due to its massive first mover advantage.

Photovoltaic Cells Manufacturers in Taiwan

  1. Gintech – This Taiwanese company has become the biggest solar cell producer in the country overtaking Motech.The company continues to expand aggressively as it uses its high quality to win more contracts from Japanese and European customers.
  2.  Motech – The company which used to be a pure play cell producer has expanded into polysilicon,modules and wafers.It is one of the oldest solar cell companies in Taiwan and faced tough times in 2008 post the GFC.TSMC owns a stake in this company.
  3. Neo Solar – This is one of the fastest growing companies in Taiwan and has focused on solar cells.It has managed to grow revenues and shipments despite tough competition from domestic as well as international competition.
  4. Del Solar – This company is another Taiwanese one with big operations in solar cells like the others.The company is also a new one like Neo Solar and has given strong competition to others like Motech.
  5. E-Ton – This Taiwanese Solar Cell Producer used to be one of the biggest pre 2008,however currently it faces huge headwinds.The company faces financial problems from a US acquisition that went wrong.It was on the verge of selling itself to Foxconn but the deal did not went through
  6. AUO – AUO is one of the world’s leading LCD panel manufacturers with most of its manufacturing facilities located in Taiwan.AUO has a  JV with SunPower’s to build 1.4 gigawatt third solar cell fabrication facility  in Malaysia. SunPower and AUO will equally own the JV and contribute equal capital funding.AUO is also building cell and module plants in Taiwan as well.It recently claimed the world’s most efficient solar panel with 19.5% efficiency.AUO has also bought M.Setek a large Japanese producer of polysilicon and wafer making it a vertically integrated player in a short time.AUO recently displayed the world’s most efficient solar module.The company also released a solar powered notebook.
  7. SolarTech – SolarTech is one of the biggest producers of solar cell producers in Taiwan and has managed to grow at a rapid pace like Neo Solar and Gintech.The company has formed a JV with SAS to producer solar wafers.Other Solar Cell Producers are Mosel Viteltic,Big Sun,Tainergy,Sunrise,Sun-Q,Top Cell,TGE,Ever Energy

Photovoltaic Cells Manufacturers in Korea

  1. Hyundai Heavy Industries – South Korea’s Hyundai Industries which is known more for its cars,is also making a big push into the Green Energy Space.Like its South Korean peers,Hyundai is also preferring to enter this space through Solar Energy.Hyundai has already established a 320 MW cell capacity which it plans to double to 600 MW by early 2011 which would make it the largest South Korean manufacturer.Hyundai had earlier bought solar cell equipment from Germany’s  Centrotherm as far back as 2008 and had entered a  long term contract with LDK Solar for buying solar wafers as raw material  for its cell lines.Its sister company KCC has started a 6000 ton polysilicon plant in South Korea.It is in negotiations with the Hungarian government to set up a manufacturing base in that country to serve the European markets.It is also targeting the US market with partnerships with companies like Raser Technology and Matinee Energy.It is also planning to set up a 240 MW solar power plant in partnership with Matinee Energy and LG.
  2.  LG –  Korean Electronics Giant has also firmed up its plan in the Solar Energy Space.It is already selling solar modules in the South Korean and European markets and plans to have a 240 MW capacity by 2010 end .This will be rapidly expanded to a Gigawatt capacity by 2012.
  3.  Samsung –  Semiconductor and Electronics Giant Samsung is entering into production of polysilicon setting up a 10,000 ton plant in an equal JV with US Poly Producer MEMC.The plant will be set up in South Korea and will go onstream by 2013.Samsung had recently started production solar crystalline silicon solar panels which uses polysilicon as raw material.Samsung has made major plans to enter the Green Industry in a big way.It has signed a multi billion investment contract to build a huge offshore wind farm off Ontario and also plans to build solar plants.

Abhishek Shah

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