In a new scorecard reviewing the solar photovoltaic (PV) module sector, Trina Solar, SunPower, First Solar, Hanwha Q-cells and Jinko Solar were all identified as this year’s industry leaders. Each of these companies garnered above average scores for both market presence and market momentum, according to the ranking from IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a global business information provider.
“IHS Markit evaluated the largest module suppliers based on nine different metrics to arrive at the overall scores,” said Edurne Zoco, senior manager, solar research at IHS Technology. “This scorecard takes into account a company’s current market and financial position, as well as its potential to cope with the next wave of challenges faced by the solar industry.”
According to the 2016 IHS Markit PV Module Supplier Scorecard, Trina Solar scored highest in market presence, receiving high scores in nearly all categories due to its leading global market share, completeness of its product offering, strong position in all major regions and brand perception. Hanwha Q-cells and Jinko Solar also scored highly in market presence, recording consistently elevated scores in most categories.
Looking to the future, First Solar ranked first in market momentum, mainly due to the rapid growth within its regional market, spending on research and development, and market-share growth. First Solar ranks lower on market presence, due to its limited regional presence and limited breadth of its product offering. Trina Solar ranked second in market momentum, thanks to the company’s market-share growth, regional growth position and technology innovations.
Among the solar PV module industry leaders, Sunpower also received high scores for market momentum because a high proportion of the company’s revenues are spent on research and development. Other keys to its high score were its regional growth and technology innovation score.
REC Solar and GCL System scored highly for market momentum, largely due to technology innovation and regional growth, but their market presence score was restricted by lower ratings on current regional presence and lower global market share. Both companies were placed, jointly with LG Electronics, within the group of “Challengers” in the scorecard report -- which indicates higher scores on market momentum than on market presence and relates to their potential to become leaders within the solar industry.
Although Canadian Solar was not categorized as a leader, due to a relatively low score for market momentum, the company recorded the second-highest market presence score -- largely due to its broad regional presence, strong brand, and the wide breadth of its product offering, both upstream and downstream.
The IHS Markit PV Module Supplier Scorecard addresses a need for a holistic review of the PV module supplier base. The results reward companies that are well established in a wide range of markets, with strong brands and strong financial results and that are well positioned for growth in the future.