- PV InfoLink has released the list of top 5 solar cell producers in terms of their shipments in 2021
- Tongwei and Aiko Solar continue to lead, with Suzhou Run Sunshine or Runergy, Zhongyu Photovoltaic Technology or Solar Space and ShanXi Lu’An Solar following next
- M10 and G12 cell sizes increased their market share to over 53% in terms of shipment while lower sizes saw their operating rate coming down
Solar PV market intelligence firm PV InfoLink has placed Chinese solar cell producers Tongwei and Aiko Solar as the 2 companies with the largest solar cell shipments in 2021, maintaining their positions on the ranking scale as the market saw growing clout of M10 and G12 sizes.
The other 3 companies among top 5 cell companies of 2021 are Suzhou Run Sunshine or Runergy, Zhongyu Photovoltaic Technology or Solar Space and ShanXi Lu’An Solar, in that order. The ranking excludes vertically integrated companies’ shipment to their own module facility.
Both the cell sizes M10 (182 mm) and G12 (210mm) grew their overall market share to exceed 53% in terms of shipments recorded in 2021 due to the reduction in operating rate of smaller sizes. During H1/2021, their share was 38%, growing to 67% in H2/2021.
The share of G1 (158.75mm) size, including both mono and polycrystalline, declined rapidly in H2/2021 and its overall share in 2021 was about 10% only. The market is increasingly seeing old production lines along with G1 and cell sizes below that, being phased out.
“Looking back at 2021, driven by price increases at the source of the supply chain, the cell segment will continue to be squeezed by silicon wafers and both ends of downstream components, and the monocrystalline PERC cell production’s severe overcapacity, and cell manufacturers can only hold on to meager profits,” according to PV InfoLink.
As companies with vertically integrated fabs grow in being self-sufficient, it is the independent cell producers whose growth rate gets squeezed and the latter may see their operating rate being maintained at 60% to 70% throughout the year.
“In addition to researching high-end differentiated products, professional cell manufacturers will continue to expand upstream and downstream supply chains or alliance cooperation,” state the analysts.
In the short term, the research firm also sees cell prices for M6, M10 and G12 increasing by RMB 0.01 to 0.02 per W, due to ‘earthquake-inducing’ wafer price hikes and increased demand from cell sector.