Report | Who’s Who in Solar Silicon

*Solar Rooftop installation, Arizona State University. Photo © Osha Gray Davidson

Some of the twenty smaller polysilicon manufacturers operating today probably won’t be around by the end of 2011. That predication, and many more, can be found in a new report from Bernreuter Research. The Who’s Who of Solar Silicon Production contains forecasts for the silicon PV industry, basic information on 150 companies around the world and in-depth profiles of 96 industry leaders. The report includes a chapter on nine new technologies for manufacturing solar-grade silicon.

From the report’s Executive Summary:

The global financial crisis has not only weakened the demand for polysilicon, but also exacerbated the capital-intensive construction of new polysilicon plants. A whole series of projects has been postponed or totally abandoned – in particular in Europe, Russia and India.

In contrast, Chinese aspirants have greatly profited from the stimulus program the country’s central government has introduced, encouraging domestic banks to apply a loose lending policy. From the pool of 51 Chinese companies this report covers, we have classified 35 as serious players. They could produce as much as 80,000 metric tons (MT) in 2012, about one third of the global volume of approximately 250,000 MT in our scenario.

Three of the top ten manufacturers in 2012 will come from China. While they are all pursuing a business model of vertical integration across or at both ends of the photovoltaic value chain, the world’s top three producers will remain polysilicon specialists embedded in a chemical company: Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. (with Dow Corning Corp. as the majority shareholder) in the USA, Wacker Chemie AG in Germany and OCI Company Ltd. in South Korea.

The report was written by Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research, and Frank Haugwitz, a PV consultant living in Beijing.

At $1,278 (950 euros) a copy, the report is clearly meant for professionals. For ordering information, visit BR’s Website.

*Photo Note

Located on the roof of ASU’s Apache parking structure, this single-axis-tracking solar power canopy went online in February 2009. It contains 4,320 of Suntech‘s 200-Watt panels, generating 1,685 MWh each year. In addition to electricity, the canopy shades cars on the rooftop level while reducing the structure’s urban “heat island” effect. The project was designed by CarbonFree Technology.

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