According to PV module shipment guidance from the majority of likely candidates for 2015, Canadian Solar is closing in on 2014 market leader, Trina Solar.
Canadian Solar has guided PV modules shipments to be in the range of approximately 4.0GW to 4.3GW in 2015, including 3,300MW to 3,500MW of third-party module sales.
However, Trina Solar expects shipments to be in the range of between 4.4GW and 4.6GW, of which 700MW to 800MW of PV modules will be shipped to its downstream projects.
Another contender for climbing to market leader is JinkoSolar, which guided shipments of to be in the range of 3.3GW to 3.8GW in 2015, which includes 2.7GW to 3GW of module shipments to third parties.
The wild card remains Yingli Green, which has yet to release full-year 2014 financial results and shipment guidance for 2015. However, despite Yingli Green expecting to lose its 2014 top spot ranking to Trina Solar the company remains loss making, capacity constrained and burdened with over US$2 billion of debt.
Although its outsourcing manufacturing capacity capability topped 1GW in 2014, supporting a potential 4GW plus shipment figure, management had noted last year that to improve margins and return to profitability it would refrain from using OEM module production.
Key for Yingli Green will be whether it can expand in-house production or as with both Trina Solar and JinkoSolar leverage JV or production partners in an attempt to match its nearest rivals continued market share gains.
As with 2014, the top of the rankings table is expected to remain highly competitive throughout the year, which could be primarily dependent on the build-out and execution of Trina Solar’s and Canadian Solar’s PV project pipelines that finally determines the top rankings this year.