The Taiwanese Solar Industry has become the 2nd largest in the world following in the footsteps of China.Taiwanese Solar Industry has a longer history than the Chinese with Solar Cell Makers Motech and E-Ton establishing themselves globally way back in 2006.However the steep fall in solar panel prices following the Lehman crisis had led to losses for these companies as the Chinese companies surged ahead using their low cost manufacturing.The crisis also led to the emergence of newer Taiwanese companies like Gintech,Neo Solar which are growing at extremely fast rates.Note Taiwan is a hub of semiconductor manufacturing with leading companies like TSMC,AUO,UMC,HTC etc.Solar Industry uses many of the same technologies,raw materials and techniques common to semiconductor and Display Panels Production giving Taiwanese firms a natural advantage.Taiwan has been predominantly present in the crystalline Solar Cell part of the supply chain and lacks a big manufacturer of polysilicon ( though a facility has been started).The lack of vertical integration has also made the costs of the Taiwanese industry higher.The entry of large companies like AUO,TSMC has further increased the competition in the Taiwanese market.Note Taiwan’s government has also promoted the use of solar energy in the country through the use of a Feed in Tariff program.

There are only 2 Solar Energy ETFs in the Market right now – TAN and KWT.Note buying solar ETF provides a less risky way of investing in solar energy as some stocks can dramatically underperform in this fast growing industry.However Solar ETFs will on the other hand perform much worse than the best performing stocks in the solar universe.This is because their holdings are also concentrated on some of the lesser quality companies.KWT and TAN are better investments for the less informed and less sophisticated investors.Amongst the 2 ETFs,KWT is the better option than TAN for a number of reasons which are described below.

Crystalline Solar Cell Suppliers are fast disappearing due to the changing dynamics of the global c-Si Solar Panel Industry.With vertical integration becoming imperative as margins and prices get squeezed,independent solar cell suppliers are having a tough time.Increasing raw material costs in terms of higher polysilicon and solar wafer prices and competition from numerous players has decreased the number of pure play solar cell suppliers.However a few of the top solar cell producers continue to grow and flourish though they are also entering into other segment of the PV solar supply chain.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.Note this list is mostly composed of solar cell producers who don’t have big module making operations.You can find a list of the top solar energy companies most of which make solar cells as well.

China based GCL Poly is the biggest solar wafer producer in the world wresting the crown from LDK Solar in 2010.GCL Poly is now set to grow even bigger in 2011 raising its wafer capacity almost 85% making it No.1 by far.Note solar wafers are made up of polysilicon and used as raw materials for making solar cells which generate electricity from the sun.They are very similar to semiconductor wafers which are used to make the basic building blocks for electronics.GCL Poly has seen a massive rise from 2010 when it started to producer solar wafers.The company’s strategy of setting up plants near its major customers have landed it major deals and lower the cost in the supply chain.

Solar Energy is the fastest growing renewable energy source in the world and has shown tremendous growth in the last 2-3 years.This has been driven by a more than 50% decline in Solar PV costs which continues to decline further.With further increase in energy prices,Solar Power is becoming closer and closer to retail electricity price.Not only is the price declining,solar power is clean energy a most valuable feature in these days of accelerating climate change.Solar Energy has already reached grid parity in places like Italy and Hawaii and will do so in more places in the coming 2-3 years.The industry is a dynamic one and the list of top solar companies can change quickly.Rapid Technology Change and Fast Declining Costs have pushed out most of the Top 10 companies of 5 years ago and brought in new ones mainly Chinese.Here is a list of the Top Solar Panel Producers in the World.

China has repeatedly cropped up in the news for cyberattacks on various governments as well as large multinational companies.While the Chinese government has denied responsibility for these cyberattacks,the evidence continues to grow as large reputed organization have blamed hacking on Chinese origin IP addresses.Note South Korea,USA and India have blamed China for cyberattacks on government computers.Growing cyberwarfare from China has made India start a cyberattack centre of its own reflecting the serious growing nature of these attacks.The recent Stuxnet virus attack on nuclear plants of Iran has been also been blamed on a Chinese attack on India gone wrong.Note cyberattacks are not considered of very serious nature in today’s geopolitics and has deniability.This has probably made China to continue with cyberwarfare on countries considered hostile to its interests.