Industry experts fear the Chinese photovoltaic industry, poised to produce 7,000 megawatts to 8,000 MW this year, could experience overcapacity by 2011.
Shi Dinghuan, president of the China Renewable Energy Society, said 2010 capacity is twice that of last year’s 4,011 MW and will account for more than 50 percent of the world’s total, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
China’s PV industry had matured faster than the world average growth rate since 2004 according to Zhao Yuwan, head of the society’s PV committee, far from a mere 2 percent world market share in 2003.
This year, China is poised to lead the world in solar cell and module manufacturing capacity expansion, said market research firm ISuppli on Thursday.
ISuppli said Chinese companies will account for seven of the 10 biggest producers in the global PV industry with a total of 6.4 gigawatts of PV manufacturing expansion this year, which is equivalent to 71.8 percent of the total 8.98 GW production boost within the top 10.
ISuppli said LDK Solar Company will expand the highest towards 1.42 GW in module and cell manufacturing. LDK Solar will also add 1.3 GW of crystalline silicon module capacity and 120 MW of cell manufacturing capacity this year.
Chinese companies Suntech Power Holdings and JA Solar comes in third and fourth positions, respectively, with a little over 1 GW PV manufacturing expansion.
Meanwhile, about 800 MW of capacity expansion brought Yingli Green Energy and Tianwei New Energy to the fifth and sixth spots respectively. Trina Solar Energy ranked eighth and Jinko Solar Energy grabbed the ninth spot with around 700 MW.
ISuppli estimates total spending for ingots, wafers and polysilicon production equipment will amount to approximately $11 billion.
The marketing data provider said the main drivers of this market movement were the doubling of solar panel sales and built-up demand caused by decreased capital expenditures in 2009.
“While European countries like Germany are leading the world in solar installations, China has built a dominant position in the manufacturing of cells and modules that are used in these systems,” said Greg Sheppard, chief research officer for ISuppli.
“With Chinese cell and module manufacturers now engaged in a race to expand manufacturing, the country is certain to maintain and expand its dominant position,” he added.