Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Financial Crisis Paves the Way for Chinese Solar Giants

Follow up on solar presentation yesterday. Highlights from the article below:

February 10, 2010

Financial Crisis Paves the Way for Chinese Solar Giants

Sales of Chinese solar modules, which accounted for nearly one third of the global market share, were shadowed in the wake of the financial crisis. However, what did not kill the Chinese companies made them stronger, especially in terms of product cost and market access.

Along with sales recovery, the Chinese may have grabbed more market share from their international competitors. "Trina's global market share is estimated to have reached 6 to 7 percent in 2009, up from 3.5 percent in 2008, " said Tzou. "We also estimate that Chinese solar module manufacturers, including Taiwan, answered over half of the world's demand in 2009."

Better cost advantages played a key role. Up until mid-2008 Chinese manufacturers had to buy extremely high priced polysilicon, a major part of solar modules production cost, while their international competitors had access to long-term supply agreements at significantly lower prices. However, following the financial crisis, the global polysilicon price slumped by 87.5 percent, giving the Chinese a way in.

Another major advantage for Chinese solar companies is their ready access to finance amid the global economic downturn. Backed by China's preferential policies towards renewable energy, domestic solar modules makers have benefited from supportive local banks.

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