The amount of interest and money in solar power has never been higher, and there’s a sizzling battle over the title of the top solar parts producers. In 2014, China’s Trina Solar is estimated to have shipped the most solar parts, replacing its domestic rival Yingli Green. Waiting in the wings, though, are Canadian Solar and JinkoSolar, which are both candidates to replace Trina in 2015.
PV-Tech.org reports that Trina Solar is estimated to ship anywhere from 4.4 GW to 4.6 GW worth of solar equipment in 2015, a huge jump from 2009 when it shipped around 400 MW (0.4 GW). In comparison, Canadian Solar is expecting shipments in the area of 4.0 GW to 4.3 GW, almost within the margin of error of Trina’s estimates. JinkoSolar could make a push to become a top parts supplier in 2015 too, though it estimates moving much less than Trina Solar and Canadian Solar, in the sphere of 3.3 GW to 3.8 GW.
Yingli Green had been the top solar parts producer in 2013 (and 2012), but production capacity restraints and loss of profitability will almost certainly see the company cede its top spot to Trina. Yingli also has to wrestle with about $2 billion in debt, whereas Canadian Solar has just $297 million in long-term debt. In order to get back on top, Yingli has to bring more production in-house.
The thing is, though, 2015 is poised to see more residential and commercial solar installations than ever before in history. There’s a lot of money up for grabs, and its quite literally one of the best investments humanity can make right now. Regardless of what company sells the most solar panel equipment and parts, we all win.