Trina Solar held on to its status as the world's biggest producer of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules in 2015, producing 4.55 Gigawatts (GW) of crystalline modules, while Canadian Solar claimed second spot with 3.9 GW in 2015, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
Trina Solar's efforts to expand its presence in key markets across the globe, leveraging on its innovative high-quality solar products, strong sales network and brand recognition, have enabled the company to capture numerous opportunities.
Ankit Mathur, GlobalData's Practice Head for Power, says: "Trina Solar has experienced impressive results over the past year. For example, it has announced a new efficiency record of 22.13% for its mono-crystalline silicon solar cell, which breaks the previous record of 21.40% and demonstrates an impressive efficiency improvement of 0.73 percentage points within only one year. In addition, the company has announced a new manufacturing base in Thailand to add 500 Megawatt (MW) module and 700 MW cell capacities, and this, along with its Malaysia facility, will help to expand Trina Solar's production and boost competitiveness in global markets."
Canadian Solar also had a positive year, following the acquisition of Recurrent Energy, a provider of solar power systems, from Sharp Corporation for a purchase consideration of approximately $265 million in cash in February 2015.
Mathur continues: "The acquisition enables Canadian Solar to more than double its total and late-stage solar project pipelines, and propelled the company from fourth in 2014 up to second place last year, overtaking Yingli and JinkoSolar. Canadian Solar has a substantial global project pipeline, a strong downstream project development business and offers low manufacturing costs. The company has also begun to offer a new upgraded warranty on its polycrystalline PV modules by guaranteeing a lower first year power output degradation."
In terms of other top solar PV producers in 2015, JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. claimed third place, with 3.79 GW produced, while JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. came in fourth with 3.38 GW, and Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd. ranked fifth, with 3.2 GW produced.
GlobalData also states that Yingli, which produced 3.35 GW in 2014, has not benefited from solar power's growing popularity in the same way. Production dropped to 2.35 GW in 2015, as liquidity issues and debt repayments caused the company to plummet from second to seventh in the global rankings.