The global solar energy industry has witnessed a significant growth over the recent decades with several top solar energy companies leading the way. Due to the increasing concerns about environmental pollution and the climate change, the whole world is gradually switching over to the renewable energy revolution. As one of the most common and essential renewable energy sources, solar energy, also known as solar power, has been highly demanded and widely adopted around the globe. No matter whether it’s solar thermal, solar photovoltaic (PV), solar panel, or residential solar PV systems, the overall global solar energy industry is posing strong growth, while many world’s top solar energy companies are also benefited with increasing demand and rising sales.
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy refers to the energy derived from the photons of the sunlight, which can be converted into solar thermal energy or electrical energy through solar panels. When harnessing photons of the sunlight, there are two main types of solar energy technologies: solar photovoltaic and solar thermal. The main difference is that solar photovoltaic technology directly converts sunlight into electricity, while solar thermal technology harnesses the heat of the sunlight. Solar energy is nowadays one of the most widely used renewable energy sources to provide environmental-friendly energy and power for both residential and industrial facilities.
Global Solar Energy Industry Overview
Solar photovoltaic power (PV) is one of the fastest growing segments of the global renewable power generation in 2017, as deployment boomed in China and prices continued to fall. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that the power generation from solar PV is estimated to have grown by over a third in 2017, up to 460TWh, representing almost 2% of total world electricity generation. IEA also forecasts that the total global solar photovoltaic power generation will reach 1,121TWh by 2022.
China is currently the world’s largest solar energy market in terms of solar energy production and solar power consumption. IEA suggests that China’s rapid increase of 53 GW capacity in 2017 was the major contributor for the global solar energy capacity growth. In early 2018, China surpassed its 2020 solar PV target outlined in its 13th Five-Year Plan. Since 2012, China’s share of global PV demand has grown from 10% to more than 55%. Many China’s major solar energy companies are nowadays the world’s leaders in this market.
When it comes to the global solar energy market size, several segments are expected to maintain a strong growth in the near future. According the recent report from Technavio, the global solar thermal market will register a CAGR close to 5% by 2022, while the global residential solar PV systems market size will grow by USD 266.18 billion during 2018-2022. The growth of the solar energy market is driven by rising concerns in environmental pollution and provision of government incentives & tax rebates to install solar panels. Increasing investments in renewable energy sector is also another factor driving the market growth.
Top Solar Energy Companies in the World 2019
JinkoSolar is currently one of world’s largest solar energy companies and top solar panel manufacturers. Headquartered in Shanghai, China, JinkoSolar distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base in China, the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and other countries and regions. In 2018, JinkoSolar shipped a total 11.4 GW of modules, making it the largest solar panel manufacturer in the world.
Canadian Solar is another one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, providing world’s leading solar PV modules and advanced solar energy solutions. Canadian Solar is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, but has production facilities in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil, where ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar PV modules, solar power systems and specialized solar products are manufactured. By far, Canadian Solar has shipped more than 32 GW PV modules over its 18-year history, it also has over 9.5 GW shipment in the pipeline.
Trina Solar is a world’s largest solar panel manufacturers based in Changzhou, China. Trina solar manufactures a huge range of solar modules for residential, commercial and utility scale installations. Its main products include ingots, wafers, solar cells and solar modules with the latest solar energy technologies such as bifacial, half-cell, dual glass, PERC, standard p-type mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline cells. Trina Solar is currently the largest supplier of solar equipment supplier in India.
SunPower Corp has been in the solar panel manufacturers for over 30 years. Today, this Silicon Valley based solar energy company is already the world’s leader in solar innovations. The company designs and manufactures crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and solar panels, providing high-efficiency solar panels for both residential and commercial purposes around the world. SunPower’s total solar energy generated has surpassed 18,000,000 MWh in 2019.
Hanwha Q Cells
Hanwha Q Cells is one of the world’s largest solar energy companies and solar panel manufacturers. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and R&A based in Thalheim, Germany. Hanwha offers a huge range of solar panel products covering from small modules to large-scale solar power plants. Currently, Hanwha Q Cells is one of the top solar panel suppliers in European and Japanese markets.
Based in Shanghai, JA Solar is one of the world’s top solar energy companies and the largest manufacturers of high-performance photovoltaic (PV) products, with a business portfolio including wafers, cells, modules and photovoltaic power stations. Over the years, JA Solar has been shipping its solar energy products across Europe, Americas, Africa, and Asia. The company’s annual sales revenue has surpassed $3 billion last year. As of 2017, JA Solar’s accumulative shipments reached 27 GW.
Longi Solar is a world leading mono-crystalline solar module manufacturer and LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) solution provider. The company, headquartered in Xi’an, China and owned by the LONGi Group, has focused on p-mono for nearly two decades and is nowadays the largest supplier of mono-crystalline products in the world, with total assets above $5.71 billion by 2018, LONGi Group has plans to reach 45 GW mono-crystalline wafer production capacity by 2020.
Risen Energy is one of the top solar energy companies and photovoltaic power products manufacturers in the world. Headquartered in Ningbo, China, Risen Energy is engaged in R&D, production, sales and service of solar modules, products of photovoltaic technology, solar terminal application and integration. Its solar energy products are exported to more than 30 countries and regions such as Europe, America, South Africa and Southeast Asia.
GCL-SI is a Hong Kong based solar energy companies, which was founded in 1990. Since then, the company has had a significant growth. As 2018, GCL-SI supplies nearly 30% of the total global wafer capacity wafer yield, represents 22.2% silicon market shares, and owns global assets worth nearly 3.3 billion USD, making it one of the leading solar energy companies in the world.
Talesun Solar Technologies is a world’s leading manufacturer of photovoltaic solar cells and modules. Headquartered in Suzhou, China, Talesun Solar has an annual capacity of 4 GW cells and 5 GW modules. So far, Talesun Solar has cumulatively invested and developed more than 6 GW PV power plants and its accumulative module shipment surpassed 10 GW.
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