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Solar PV panel production above 15 GW in 2010

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panel production could grow 92% in 2010, eclipsing the previously estimated 15 GW, according to GTM Research.

Although subsidy cuts for solar PV in key markets will lead to slower growth from 2011, solar panel production will still exceed 25 GW by 2013, GTM Research says in its report PV Technology, Production and Cost Outlook: 2010-2015.

Furthermore, increasing competition between solar panel suppliers could lead to panel prices below US$1/W by 2012 for “select technologies.”

“Over the past 18 months, we have witnessed the global PV industry become more complex and dynamic than ever before,” says Shyam Mehta, a Senior Solar Analyst at GTM Research and author of the report.

“The supply chain has been bombarded with opportunities from scaling demand, and the industry has responded to this competitive dynamic with new, low-cost technologies and more sophisticated business models.”

He adds: “Our global pricing analysis projects higher-cost panel producers to come under significantly more pressure in 2011 as PV continues to become more commoditised and low-cost manufacturers such as First Solar and top-tier Chinese firms add more capacity.

“Whether it be through production differentiation, contract manufacturing, technology innovation, or vertical integration, higher-cost producers will have to develop differentiated business models to stay alive in the long term.”

GTM Research ranks the top most 15 successful firms in terms of solar panel production, manufacturing costs, efficiency, and bankability by 2013 as follows:

  1. First Solar (USA)
  2. Trina Solar (China)
  3. Yingli Green Energy (China)
  4. Suntech Power (China)
  5. REC (Norway)
  6. Astronergy (China)
  7. Solibro GmbH (Now part of Q-Cells, Germany)
  8. LDK Solar (China)
  9. Solar Frontier (Japan)
  10. SunPower (USA)
  11. Sharp (Japan)
  12. Canadian Solar (China)
  13. EGing Photovoltaic Technology (China)
  14. Abound Solar (USA)
  15. Solarfun (China)

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity