The death of China’s solar industry appears to have been greatly exaggerated.
Despite staggering debt loads and falling prices for photovoltaic panels, Chinese manufacturers set new shipment records in the second quarter of the year, according to a report released today by market research firm NPD Solarbuzz.
Solar panel shipments from the world’s top 20 manufacturers jumped 21%, to 5,800 megawatts, in the second quarter compared the previous year. Five Chinese manufacturers—Yingli, Trina Solar, Jinko Solar, Renesola, and Canadian Solar—accounted for a third of global shipments, the report said.
Conspicuously absent was Suntech, until 2012 the world’s largest photovoltaic manufacturer, which has imploded this year amid the bankruptcy of its Chinese unit. The new leader is Yingli, which shipped 9% of the world’s solar panels in the second quarter. First Solar, the sole US manufacturer to appear on the list, had 4% of global shipments.