China-based solar PV manufacturer Trina Solar can no longer call itself the world’s leading solar PV supplier, having been overtaken by Chinese competitor Jinko Solar, according to new figures by research and consulting firm GlobalData.
A year ago, GlobalData confirmed that Chinese solar PV manufacturer Trina Solar had held onto its top spot as the world’s leading solar PV module producer in 2015, producing 4.55 gigawatts (GW) of crystalline modules, ahead of Canadian Solar and Jinko Solar. A year later and the tables have turned somewhat, with Jinko Solar shipping 6.6 to 6.7 GW of solar PV modules compared to Trina Solar’s 6.3 to 6.5 GW. Canadian Solar was relegated to third place, with shipments in the range of 5 to 5.1 GW.
“JinkoSolar has witnessed impressive results over 2016, with the company’s PV modules securing China Quality Certification Center’s Top Runner Program level-one energy efficiency certification that showcases its technological strength,” explained Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s Practice Head covering Power. Specifically, GlobalData highlighted “JinkoSolar’s efforts to expand across a large and geographically diversified customer base” as allowing “it to leverage its innovative, high-quality solar products, brand recognition and robust sales network to win several opportunities.”
We saw repeated strong growth throughout 2016 from Jinko Solar, with an impressive startto the year and strong mid-year quarterly earnings allowing the company to revise its full-year shipping guidance in November. Trina Solar by no means had a bad year, but there were several lackluster results throughout the year which definitely impeded the company retaining its title as the world’s leading solar PV module supplier.
The remaining solar PV manufacturers came in as follows: JA Solar in fourth place with 4.9 to 5 GW, Hanwha Q CELLS in fifth with 4.8 to 5 GW, GCL System Integration Technology at sixth with 4.6 to 5 GW, and First Solar stood in seventh place with 2.8-2.9 GW. However, most disappointing through 2016 was the performance of Yingli Solar, which only continued to slip further down the rankings. This was highlighted in December, when the company was forced to report a poor third quarter and lower 2016 shipping guidance.
“Yingli, which was responsible for a shipment of around 2.1-2.2 GW in 2016, has not benefited from solar power’s growing popularity in the same way as its counterparts,” explained Mathur. “The company’s liquidity issues and debt repayments caused it to fall from seventh to eighth position in the global rankings.
“The company witnessed a drop in net revenues from Q2 2016 to Q3 2016 primarily because the company’s external PV module shipments lowered along with the average selling price of its PV modules as a consequence of reduced demand in China in Q3 2016.”
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.