Fierce Competition In Global Solar Module Manufacturing

Tier I Polysilicon Producers, Led By Chinese, Can Supply Global Demand Over Next 4 Years

Fierce Competition In Global Solar Module Manufacturing

Global polysilicon, wafer and cell markets are less crowded since these are capital-intensive, but it is solar module manufacturing where fierce competition was seen by S&P in 9M/2023. (Photo Credit: S&P Global Commodity Insights)

  • S&P Global Commodity Insights sees continued dominance of Chinese manufacturers in the global solar supply chain in 9M/2023 
  • Top 10 polysilicon producers during the period accounted for 90.2% share with top 4 from China 
  • The situation is the same for wafer and cell markets where LONGi and Tongwei Solar led the rest, respectively 
  • JinkoSolar with its 52 GW solar module shipments during the period was the top supplier in this category 

The world’s top 10 suppliers controlled over 80% of the global solar module supply chain during 9M/2023, with only 4 manufacturers among the top 10 are headquartered outside of mainland China, according to the S&P Global Commodity Insights. 

GCL Poly led the global polysilicon supply. The top 4 on this list — all from China — had a combined market share of 64%. The US’ Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) helped the non-Chinese polysilicon producers to consolidate their market share in the country. 

Overall, the top 10 polysilicon producers on the list accounted for 90.2% global share. Going forward, Tier I producers will have enough capacity to supply global demand in the next 4 years, even for the upside potential scenario, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights Principal Research Analyst within the Clean Energy Technology research team, Jessica Jin. 

According to S&P, polysilicon will be abundantly available in the near future, leading to a further drop in prices. It could most likely result in some idled capacity or some new entrants canceling their manufacturing plans. 

LONGi Green Energy Technology, followed by TCL Zhonghuan Renewable Energy Technology, had a combined market share of 45% for the global wafer supply during the first 9M last year. Jin expects both these market leaders to quickly adapt to rectangular wafer sizes and apply the same to both M10 and G12 wafers. 

S&P sees TOPCon becoming the mainstream technology leader among n-type technologies over the next 4 to 5 years as PERC’s retirement starts from 2024. The phase-out will accelerate from 2025. 

Tongwei Solar led the top 10 solar cell suppliers that together accounted for 84.8% of the global market share. Vertically integrated wafer and cell manufacturers were seen expanding their production capacities to better align with their larger module capacities for better cost control of manufacturing costs. 

Among the top 10 solar module manufacturers led by JinkoSolar, the top 4 managed over a 50% market share in 9M/2023, despite the presence of several active manufacturers in this space. The latter, however, gave fierce competition to the remaining suppliers on the top 10 list.  

While Jin does not provide any specific shipment volumes, JinkoSolar had revealed its total solar module shipments in 9M/2023 at 52 GW (see Solid Financial Results For JinkoSolar In Q3/2023). 

The continued dominance of China, with its low cost and quality products, in the global solar supply chain is likely to continue in the future, as echoed in a recent Wood Mackenzie report as well, lest the world wants to invest an additional $6 trillion to build a non-China clean energy equipment production, including for solar PV (see World Not Ready For Energy Transition Without China). 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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