According to a new report from IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight, with shipments of 23.7 gigawatts (GWs) the top 10 solar photovoltaic (PV) module suppliers grew their combined market share slightly last year, from 48 percent in 2013 to 49 percent in 2014.
Boasting the largest domestic market for PV modules, Chinese suppliers continued to dominate the market last year.
“Chinese module makers continue to lead IHS rankings, because China is the largest global market, and it is closed to foreign suppliers,” said Jessica Jin, solar supply-chain analyst for IHS. “Chinese suppliers also performed well in Japan, the United States and other markets worldwide.”
The new PV Integrated Market Tracker from IHS reveals that seven of the top 10 module suppliers are based in China, two are based in Japan and one in the United States. The 2014 top-10 list of companies are the same as the previous year, but the order has changed. For example, with a 30 percent unit-shipment increase and 17 percent gross margin, Trina Solar became the top supplier in 2014; and due to Hanwha SolarOne’s merger with Q Cells, the company rose strongly in the rankings, from tenth place to sixth place.
IHS forecasts that the global PV market will increase 30 percent, reaching 57 GW this year. Global utilization is also forecast to increase rise from 61 percent in 2014 to 69 percent in 2015, with tier-one manufacturers running at the 90 percent level or higher.
“Top PV module manufacturers continue to expand this year,” Jin said. “JA Solar has announced a 20 percent increase in module capacity in China this year, while Trina Solar will add 1 GW of module capacity.”
The IHS PV Integrated Market Tracker covers focuses on the markets for polysilicon, solar wafers, PV cells and modules and PV installations.