Leading Chinese solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers Yingli Green Energy and Trina Solar have emerged as the clear market leaders within the solar PV industry, shipping more than 5.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV modules in 2013. During the last six quarters, Yingli and Trina increased total market share from 12 percent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2012 to nearly 15 percent at the end of the fourth quarter (Q4) 2013, according to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Module Tracker Quarterly report.
“Yingli and Trina embarked on an aggressive shipment strategy, over the past eighteen months,” according to Ray Lian, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “With the global PV manufacturing segment focused on reducing costs and controlling expenses, there was a clear window of opportunity for market share gains. These two companies have capitalized on this opening with meticulous precision, and they are now poised to become the first multi-gigawatt module suppliers driving the next phase of strong end-market growth.”
The top 20 leading solar PV suppliers shipped a new record level of modules in Q4 2013 of 7.6 GW, marking the first time that the top 20 suppliers have broken through the 7 GW barrier. The Q4 2013 shipment volume from the top 20 companies grew by 44 percent compared to Q4 2012 and 9 percent compared to Q3 2013. The top 20 PV manufacturers now supply 68 percent of the global solar PV industry.
During Q4 2013, eleven of the top 20 module suppliers achieved new quarterly shipment records. In particular, Yingli and Trina both exceeded 800 megawatts (MW) of shipments in Q4 2013, with Yingli setting yet another record of more than 900 MW. Over the next few quarters, these two market leaders will compete to become the first PV module supplier to reach the unprecedented 1 GW mark for quarterly shipment volume.
Yingli and Trina have now increased their combined trailing-twelve-month (ttm) shipment volume, from 2.4 GW at the end of Q2 2012, to 5.8 GW at the end of Q4 2013. The 62 percent increase in shipments in just 18 months is a key factor behind the companies’ combined market share gains.
The average selling price (ASP) of the top-20 grouping was once again flat ($0.72 per watt), with module pricing remaining stable for three consecutive quarters. ASPs have only declined by 3 percent since Q4 2012, compared to the staggering 35 percent annual decline during the previous 12-month period.
Eleven of the top 20 module suppliers now have ASPs between $0.6 per watt to $0.7 per watt. Higher ASPs are still being achieved by high-performance module suppliers, SunPower and Panasonic, and other premium-brand suppliers, like SolarWorld, Sharp Solar, and Kyocera.
Within the top 20 PV manufacturers, the Chinese supplier grouping decreased its silicon and non-silicon module costs to $0.55 per watt during Q4 2013; Jinko Solar was the first major supplier to break below the $0.5 per watt threshold. More than half of the top 20 module suppliers now have blended costs below $0.6 per watt.
Consequently the average gross margin for top 20 module suppliers has increased from approximately 10 percent in Q2 2013 to 15 percent in Q4 2013, having rebounded significantly from a low of 1 percent, back in Q3’12.
“With a stable pricing climate, and gross margins for the industry leaders set to once again exceed 20 percent, increased module shipments are now resulting in strong revenue and profit gains,” added Lian. “The positive environment for leading solar PV module suppliers will provide a solid foundation in 2014, which will lead to plans for new capacity expansions and further efficiency improvements.”
For more information, you can visit NPD Solarbuzz Module Tracker Quarterly.