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Solar Industry Snapshot

2011 was a good year for solar panel manufacturers, and the world's solar power capacity.

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According to a 2011 year-end article published by Technology Review, an MIT publication (, the solar industry is facing a large oversupply of solar panels, fueled largely by manufacturers in China, which is home to four of the top five largest solar-panel manufacturers in the world. The article states that the average nominal (not adjusted for inflation) price of crystalline silicon solar panels fell from $1.90/watt to $1.35/watt from January to November 2011, according to GTM Research.

In addition, the world's solar capacity continues to grow quickly. GTM Research estimates that 20,563 megawatts of solar power were installed globally in 2011--13,553 megawatts in Europe, 2,083 in North America, 3,938 in Asia, 710 in Australia, and 279 megawatts in the rest of the world. That is 2,960 megawatts more than were installed in 2010, and brings the total global solar capacity to 59,152 megawatts.

According to, there a number of major photovoltaic solar panel manufacturers in the U.S. and a rapidly growing number in Europe and China. Here is their list:

    Advent Solar
    Amonix Inc
    Atlantis Energy System Inc.
    B P Solar Int'l LLC
    Canrom Photovoltaics, Inc.
    DayStar Technologies Inc.
    Energy Photovoltaics Inc,
    Evergreen Solar Inc.
    First Solar LLC.
    GE Energy (USA) LLC
    Global Solar Energy Inc.
    Innergy Power Corporation,
    Iowa Thin Film Technologies
    Kyocera Solar Inc.
    Matrix Solar Technologies
    Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc.
    Mitsui Comtek Corp.
    Pacific SolarTech
    RWE Schott Solar Inc.
    SANYO Energy (USA) Corporation
    Sanyo Semiconductor Corporation
    Sharp Manufacturing Company of America
    Shell Solar Industries LP
    Solar Power Industries, Inc.
    Spire Corporation
    Sunpower Corporation
    Sunwatt Corporation
    Sunwize Technologies LLC
    Terra Solar Global, Inc.
    Tideland Signal Corporation
    United Solar Ovonic LLC

Renee Robbins Bassett,, Managing Editor, Automation World

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