PV panels booming production

The demand for renewable energy sees pv panels supply booming in USA, China, India and multiple countries. The rise indicates that solar installations are now in an exponential phase, as forecast by Tony Seba of RethinkX in 2013


India is funding local production with about 40GW currently, although much of the components are sourced from overseas. Their target of 60GW would enable them to meet their national goal of over 200GW capacity by 2030.


The remarkable increase in supply and installations across China continues with 510 GW of installed PV capacity at the end of August 2023. New manufacturer FuturaSun started building a 10 GW solar cell factory in Jiangsu province.

From @hannahritchie Time taken to add 1GW of solar PV globally ☀️
2000: more than a year, 2010/11: two weeks 2015: one week Now: less than a day

Chinesese Manufacturing Capacity Booming

PV panels supply booming from statista 2023
Manufacturing capacity of solar photovoltaic modules in China from 2018 to 2022(in gigawatts) from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1390291/solar-photovoltaic-module-production-capacity-china/

EU and ROW

A few other countries have small boutique PV panel production. In context, every GW of panels produced reduces fossil fuel use in electricity production and in 2023 CO2 emissions from coal and gas will start to decline. Many countries have small or boutique manufacturers or assemblers. Many are considering building their own for sovereigty but it needs money time and supply chains.

EuropeMostly R&DList of top 10 solar mfts
Turkey4th largest in worldBehind Vietnam and Sth Korea
AustraliaTiny. 1 factory in Sth AustraliaAlthough invented in australia, production went to China

USA PV Solar panels supply booming

President Joe Biden signed the IRA in August 2022. In just 12 months over 51 solar factories have been announced or expanded in the US. The investment from IRA exceeds $20 billion that flows into US communities

New production capacity across the solar supply chain is more than 155 gigawatts (GW). USA production includes:

  • 85 GW of solar panel capacity
  • 43 GW of solar cells
  • 20 GW of silicon ingots and wafers
  • 7 GW of inverter capacity . (Reuters)
PV solar panels supply booming in the usa due to IRA

600 GW Installed in 2024?

Which Countries Produce PV panels

Data from Statista – production is dominated by China https://www.statista.com/statistics/668749/regional-distribution-of-solar-pv-module-manufacturing/

Panel Prices Fall 25% in 2023

For the fifth month in a row, module prices fell further by around 6% on average. The ongoing decline in prices has led to an overall average reduction of 25% across all module technologies since the start of the year.
PV Exchange Aug 2023

PV Panels Swansons Law

Panel prices come down faster than predicted.

The learning rate of photovoltaics – the speed at which price declines accelerate with wider deployment of the technology – reached 23.5% in 2019, according to the VDMA. (https://www.vdma.org/international-technology-roadmap-photovoltaic)

Changing Type

PV solar changing type
VDMA. (https://www.vdma.org/international-technology-roadmap-photovoltaic)

PV Efficiency

Conversion efficiency isn’t the full story. Yes, conversion efficiency doubled (~10% -> 20%) in the last 20 years, but silicon use per watt fell by 87%! (16g/W -> 2g/W). Longi now has cells that use just half a gram per watt and are 26% efficient. At 1.9 W/g (1.2 horsepower/pound), they’re more power dense than most combustion engines!

Glass/glass bifacial panels solve the degradation issues of plastic back sheets. And they harvest light from both sides which increases output in cloudy conditions (higher % diffuse light vs directional). That’s way more valuable than just the increase in overall output because it means more power when it’s needed most. Larger format panels may not seem revolutionary, but they lower balance of system and labor costs.

Even the production of silicon itself is getting more efficient. We use less energy to refine silicon today and get more watts and more watt hours from that silicon.

From Jesse Peltan https://x.com/JessePeltan/status/1763282554059186679

Sources and References

  1. How solar has exploded in the US in just a year – in numbers https://electrek.co/2023/08/13/solar-us-ira/
  2. List of photovoltaics companies Wikipedia
  3. Top 10 PV manufactures 2022 https://www.blackridgeresearch.com/blog/top-solar-pv-module-panel-manufacturers-companies-suppliers-producers
  4. VDMA ITRPV Report 2023 Key Findings and Report (https://www.vdma.org/international-technology-roadmap-photovoltaic)

Top 20 China Solar Panel Manufacturers

CompanyCapacity (GW)Market Capitalization (USD Billions)Website
LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd.18547.9LONGi
Trina Solar Co., Ltd.16022.9Trina Solar
JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd.15519.9Jinko Solar
JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd.14521.8JA Solar
Canadian Solar Inc.207.3Canadian Solar
Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd.19.111.5Q CELLS
First Solar, Inc.9.411.2First Solar
Astronergy Co., Ltd. (CHINT SOLAR)164.7CHINT SOLAR
Risen Energy Co., Ltd.156.1Risen Energy
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.123.3Suntech
Maxeon Solar Technologies1011.9Maxeon Solar
REC Group5.46.3REC Group
Silfab Solar4.51.5Silfab Solar
Mission Solar4.31.3Mission Solar
Hyundai Energy Solutions4.11.2Hyundai Energy Solutions
Phono Solar3.91.1Phono Solar
Seraphim Energy Technology Co., Ltd.3.71Seraphim
TrunSolar Co., Ltd.3.50.9TrunSolar
Meyer Burger Technology AG3.41.5Meyer Burger
BYD Company3.3150BYD
This is not a complete list, and solar panel manufactures build new factories and decommission lower efficiency ones. This table is based on data from various sources and may not be 100% accurate.
References – pv-tech.org: https://www.pv-tech.org/
Google Finance: https://www.google.com/finance