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Chinese Companies Dominate Solar Manufacturing Spending in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Chinese companies are expected to lead the world in the expansion of solar cell and module manufacturing capacity in 2010, accounting for seven of the 10 biggest gainers in the industry, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Collectively, the seven Chinese companies are set to expand their Photovoltaic (PV) cell and module manufacturing by 6.4 Gigawatts (GW) in 2010, representing 71.8 percent of the total 8.98GW increase among the Top 10.

“While European countries like Germany are leading the world in solar installations, China has built a dominant position in the manufacturing of cells and modules that are used in these systems,” said Greg Sheppard, chief research officer for iSuppli. “With Chinese cell and module manufacturers now engaged in a race to expand manufacturing, the country is certain to maintain and expand its dominant position.”

The biggest expansion will be undertaken by China’s LDK Solar Co. Ltd., which will add a total of 1.42GW worth of module and cell manufacturing in 2010. The company will bring on 1.3GW of c-Si module capacity and 120 Megawatts (MW) of c-Si cell manufacturing capacity.

“LDK is adding enormous amounts of capacity as it tries to keep pace with fellow Chinese solar suppliers,” Sheppard observed. No. 2 among the capacity adders will be Renewable Energy Corp. of Norway, with 1.09GW of new manufacturing.

“REC is reinvigorating its cell and module business with a giant new campus in Singapore, causing its production capacity to rise,” Sheppard added.

In terms of c-Si cells, JA Solar of China is poised to lead in manufacturing expansion, with 700MW of the 1GW in total additions allocated for that technology.

If the spending for ingots, wafers, polysilicon is added, iSuppli estimates the PV industry will spend approximately $11 billion on production equipment this year. The spending is being driven by the doubling of sales for solar panels as well as pent-up demand induced by the slowing of capital expenditures in 2009.

For their part, thin-film companies have been relatively small spenders this year, as many in their ranks had plenty of manufacturing capacity to absorb. First Solar allowed efficiency improvements—rather than spending on new equipment—to drive capacity growth this year. Spending on thin-film capital equipment is slated to accelerate in 2011, assuming that companies follow through on announced plans.


6 comments on “Chinese Companies Dominate Solar Manufacturing Spending in 2010

  1. elctrnx_lyf
    November 19, 2010

    With more than 80% of the output by the chinese manufacturers alone seems to be a complete domination. China is leading in the front in the reserach and manufacturing at the same time. There has been lot of buzz by obama for the research in exploring more renewable energy aources. But he should also invite the industrialists to set up manufacturing facilities along with the resarch.

  2. Ms. Daisy
    November 19, 2010

    The idea of President Obama extending invitation to industrialists to set up manufacturing facilities along with the research has been part of the first things he did early in his administration. But the economic down turn and the stubbon slow recovery has not made this come to fruition. I agree that he should bring back this invitation and engage the industrialists in a dialogue on possible means of invesments with attached incentives such as tax exemptions or lower taxes for a fixed period of time to at least fulfil part of his election promise on re-newable energy. He seems to have allowed the weight of the country's problem derail his vision! Manufacturing in one of the kinds of things that will drive down unemployment.

  3. saranyatil
    November 21, 2010

    as we all know china is emerging as a leader in manufaturing industries with also their great level of potential in research and developement. most manufacturing of all the products are being developed and sourced from china. especially with their indigenius talents in photovotaic cell developement they are able to develope solar panels in all sizes and features. i think obama should pitch the right call.

  4. kumar1863
    November 25, 2010

    China is at No.1 by crossing the U.S in the list of renewable energy countries according to a list compiled by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young. China announced the golden sun subsidy that will support 500 MW of PV installations over the next two years. This competition will lead to an eco-friendly renewable energy all over the world. 

  5. hwong
    November 30, 2010

    It is good to see the rapid adoption of solar panel to power our needs. In the meantime, solar cell photon-electron conversion efficiency still has room to improve and the power grid infrastructure to support electricity sharing might need upgrades too to do better job.

  6. prabhakar_deosthali
    December 17, 2010

    India has a que to take here to make an effort to compete China .Currently it stands at 7th position in PV cell prodcution. There is a huge opportunity here for India just to boost the use of solar power in its own land where there is so much of sunshine round the year that if all that solar energy is converted to Electricity it can ourstrip the total electricity demand of the whole country for the next decade

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