In a new report from IC Insights, major solar cell manufacturers from Japan are finding the competition tough from relatively new players from the U.S. (First Solar), Germany (Q-Cells SE), China (Suntech) and the likes of Taiwan-based Motech. The 2006 number-one supplier, Sharp, was said to have suffered the most, falling to fourth-ranked supplier by revenue in 2008, according to the market research firm.
However, other Japanese-based suppliers also suffered from the rising competition, the report found. Kyocera slipped from the No. 5 spot in 2007 to No. 6 in 2008. Sanyo, which was No. 7 in the 2007 ranking, did not make IC Insights’ top 10 ranking in 2008. Mitsubishi also saw its position in the rankings fall.
Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis
Photovoltaics International is now included.
- Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
- In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
- Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
- Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
- Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
- Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual
Or continue reading this article for free
China is increasingly becoming a major supplier. The report noted that Suntech slipped from No. 2 to No. 3 on MW growth below that of the total global industry, while JA Solar went from No. 10 to No. 7 in the ranking based on 109% growth in MW sales in 2008. Yingli Green Energy move up one spot on the strength of 93% growth.
In Taiwan, Motech Industries overtook Japan-based Kyocera, moving from No. 6 to No. 5, due to a 67% increase in MW sales.
According to IC Insights the most notable climber was Gintech, which equaled First Solar’s growth of 144% in MW sales in 2008, enabling it to move up from No. 12 to No. 8 in the ranking.
The future is set to cause significant disruption to the rankings as the market slows and small revenue increments that separate many of the top players play their part. Also new investments by Sharp in thin film could reverse its loss in share.
The top four suppliers all achieved MW market shares of between 8.0% and 9.5%. IC Insights argues that a second tier of suppliers was formed by those ranked No. 5 through No. 10, all having between 4% and 5% market share, with several additional suppliers close behind.