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No Europeans among top 10 solar PV cell manufacturers

Despite high demand in Europe, there are no European companies in the latest top 10 list of solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturers from Lux Research.

By Kari Williamson

European manufacturers are having trouble remaining cost competitive by producing in Europe, according to Lux Research’s latest Solar Supply Tracker.

Norway's solar PV cell manufacturer Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), as an example, has reduced production at two of its facilities in Norway by about 400 MW in the past two months while it continues its production at full capacity in Singapore.

Solar PV module prices are at a record low with major manufacturers selling around US$1/W to burn through their inventories. While this price is unsustainable, it makes cost competition cut-throat, the analyst says.

The top 10 companies, which make up 44% of global solar PV cell production, include some of the Chinese crystalline silicon cell manufacturing giants, such as Suntech, Yingli and Trina.

Neo Solar Power, which is a Taiwanese cell manufacturer, entered the top 10 for the first time with 3% of global solar PV cell production.

Fatima Toor , Analyst at Lux Research says: “The Asian share in cell manufacturing will continue to rise and go >50%, even though risks of trade disputes and tariffs loom in the western hemisphere. Moreover, polysilicon production has shifted to Asia during the last quarter while module production had already shifted to Asia in late 2010.”

Top 10 Cell Manufacturers:  3Q’11

Company Name

% Global Cell Production

Cell Production in Q3 2011 (MW)

First Solar
6%
551
Suntech Power
6%
546
Yingli Green Energy
5%
431
Trina Solar
4%
370
SunPower
4%
350
Motech
4%
330
Canadian Solar
4%
325
JA Solar
4%
325
Sharp
4%
316
Neo Solar Power
3%
273

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