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Will Sharp be Decimated like the Europeans by Chinese Solar Panel Companies

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Chinese Solar Companies have increased their global marketshare of the Solar Panel to around 60% from virtually 0% in 2006.The Solar Panel Rankings of the Chinese has been growing since last year as Europeans and Japanese have found no answer to their cheap solar panels.Q-Cells,Solarworld and other European companies have been reduced to bit players in the Solar Market as the low cost Asians have ramped up their capacity and shipments in 2009 and 2010.The only reason that they continue to survive is the more than 100% growth in the Solar Demand in 2010.With oversupply expected in 2011,Europeans will be virtually wiped out from the world solar panel market due to their high cost uncompetitive business models.European solar factories are closing as the remaining companies shift their production to low cost Malaysia and Singapore.

Sharp,the Japanese Electronics Giant was the largest solar company in the world by revenues in 2009,however it risks losing its top 5 place in 2011 as Chinese companies ramp up capacity at a much higher rate.Sharp has been shielded from the fierce competition in the solar panel market as the domestic Japanese market has also grown sharply.Japan is a tough market for foreign companies to crack like other sectors and that has allowed Sharp to prosper despite much higher costs and lower margins.However,Sharp has not been able to grow fast enough in 2010 with major Chinese companies seeing upwards of 100% growth.2011 promises to be even harder as European countries tighten their subsidy mechanisms.Newer competition in the form of conglomerates like Hanwha,Samsung,Hydundai and CIGs Technology Companies like Solar Frontier,Miasole,TSMC is expected to make the market even tougher.Sharp has been building a huge amorphous Silicon capacity at its facility in Sakai and has gotten traction as well selling modules to Thailand and Canada.It has also setup a JV with Enel in Italy as it turns into a IPP something similar to US companies First Solar and Suntech.It recently bought a downstream solar system developer Recurrent Energy to bolster its position.However Sharp faces a tough challenge in remaining a Top 10 Company with a 10% global marketshare.

Will Sharp be Decimated like the Europeans by Chinese Solar Panel Companies

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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