Chinese photovoltaic (PV) module suppliers dominated the market in 2014, with seven of the top 10 hailing from China, according to a new report from IHS Inc.
Last year, the top 10 solar module suppliers accounted for shipments of 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of modules, increasing their combined market share slightly to 49%, up from the 48% in 2013, IHS says. Among the top 10, seven module suppliers are based in China, two are based in Japan and one in the United States.
“Chinese module makers continue to lead IHS rankings, because China is the largest global market, and it is closed to foreign suppliers,” says Jessica Jin, solar supply chain analyst at IHS. “Chinese suppliers also performed well in Japan, the United States and other markets worldwide.”
While the top 10 solar module suppliers in 2014 were the same companies on the list in 2013, the ranking order changed. Trina Solar became the top ranked supplier in 2014 after it had a 30% unit-shipment increase and 17% gross margin. Hanwha SolarOne’s merger with Q Cells allowed the company to rise from the 10th place position in 2013 to the fourth place position last year, IHS says.
Overall, the global PV market is forecasted to increase 30% to 57 GW this year with global utilization forecast to rise to 69%, up from 61% last year, with tier-1 manufacturers running at 90% level or higher.
Jin says the top module makers in China will expand this year including JA Solar that has announced a 20% expansion in module capacity in China in 2015 and Trina Solar that will add 1 GW of module capacity.
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