Top 10 Solar Panel Manufacturers In 2019 (Shipments)

Solar panel shipments in 2019

There were no big surprises in GlobalData’s top ten list of solar panel manufacturers for global shipments last year, but capacity shipped among the big players grew significantly.

The first seven rankings remained unchanged from the previous year. Here’s how GlobalData’s rankings look along with capacity shipped in 2019 and growth on 2018:

  • JinkoSolar – 14.2GW (+25%)
  • JA Solar – 10.3GW (+17%)
  • Trina Solar – 9.7GW (+20%)
  • Longi Solar – 9.0GW (+25%)
  • Canadian Solar – 8.5GW (+20%)
  • Hanwha Q Cells – 7.3GW (+33%)
  • Risen Energy – 7.0GW (+46%)
  • First Solar – 5.5GW (+104%)
  • GCL – 4.8GW (+17%)
  • Shunfeng Photovoltaic – 4.0GW (+21%)

Out of the ten, all are Chinese companies except for Q Cells (South Korea), Canadian Solar (Canada) and First Solar (USA). But all of the above manufacture some or all of their panels in China with the exception First Solar (Malaysia, USA and Vietnam).

“Chinese manufacturers will continue to dominate as the overall leader in solar installations in 2020 as newer emerging markets in SE Asia, Latin America and the Middle East mark their presence on the solar map as demand centers,” said GlobalData’s Ankit Mathur. “China, the US, Europe and India will continue to remain the major markets for the solar module suppliers.”

Things are looking pretty good in Australia too, with a report of another 206MW just in commercial and home solar systems (<100kW capacity) registered in January. However, the impacts of the coronavirus COVID-19 on supply over the next couple of months have sent jitters through the local solar energy industry, which may have to look to non-Chinese brands to fill the gap while China gets up to speed again. That’s assuming COVID-19 doesn’t have further nasty surprises in store.

A Lot Of Solar Panels – And Clean Electricity

Between the top ten as ranked by GlobalData, an estimated 80.3 gigawatts of module capacity was shipped during 2019 (63GW in 2018, so + 27%). 80.3 gigawatts would work out to around 229.4 million 350 watt solar panels. As a very rough and conservative guesstimate, 80.3 gigawatts of solar panels could generate 117,238 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually – 117.238 terawatt-hours.

In 2017–18, total electricity generation in Australia (all sources) was 261 terawatt-hours.

Outside of the top ten, there are of course a bunch of other module manufacturers. GlobalData says the top 10 manufacturers accounted for more than 75% of all module shipments in 2020, so the total figure probably nudged the 100GW mark.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Ray Meeuwisse says

    Hi Michael you had better check your facts, panels by Canadian solar for Australia are manufactured in China, they have a very high failure rate. Only 10% of Canadian, are in fact, manufactured in Canada, and they are predominently for the American and Canadian market space.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Ray, Ronald here.

      The location given is where their headquarters are. Canadian Solar was founded in Canada and haven’t shifted their head office since.

      If you have information about a high failure rate in Canadian Solar panels please let us know, but that is not what we hear from installers using them — who are normally the first to hear complaints from customers — or from home owners who have them. Our information indicates they are good value for money and they are among the panels we can recommend in our Solar 101 Guide:

  2. Thanks for this. Is there any decent data on the top 10 deployed in Australia? Would be interesting to see if it matches the global trend and if it matches the Solar Analytics numbers.

  3. Richard Riles says

    How may solar panels wold I need to run a 9000 watt aircon and wat size inverter or solar controller would I need .would battery run it at night your sincerely Richard Riles

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Richard

      The 9,000 watt figure is almost certainly the cooling power of the air condition and not how much electricity it draws. If it draws 9,000 watts of electricity it would be a huge air conditioner for a home. It’s likely to draw under 3,000 watts of electricity. A 6.6 kilowatt solar system with a 5 kilowatt solar inverter would be large enough to supply most of its power during the day, but I suggest installing as much solar as you can easily fit on your roof. If you have 3 phase power you can often install up to 20 kilowatts of panels or potentially more depending on your location and the size of your roof. If you have single phase you can be limited to a 5 kilowatt solar inverter and up to 6.66 kilowatts of panels, but if you aren’t in WA it’s often possible to get around this through installing a larger inverter and exporting limiting it and then installing 8+ kilowatts of panels.

      Unless you are off-grid I don’t suggest getting batteries unless perhaps you have access to a really good Virtual Power Plant that you trust as batteries don’t pay for themselves yet, at least not under usual circumstances. You will be better off putting your money into getting a larger solar system. If you want to run it for 12 hours through the night in an extreme heatwave it could use 25 kilowatt-hours but on most summer nights I’d expect it to use half that or less. But it will depend a lot on your location.

  4. Hi Michael or Ronald or Finn, always love your articles or reports, very informative and usefel. Thank you all so much.
    BTW, how is Chint panels or Astronergy panels. I’ve heard that they are pretty reliable and cost-effecient, and are they in the Tier 1 panels? Thanks.

  5. Michelle Carter says

    Hi Michael, Ronald or Finn,

    We’ve been recommended this as a set up

    18 x 400w Glass/Glass modules
    18 x Enphase micro inverters
    1 x envoy monitoring system

    Can you advise if the brand is reliable.

    Cheers Michelle

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Michelle, Ronald here.

      I don’t know the manufacturer of the glass/glass panels, so I can’t tell you what I think of them. But I will warn you that if they are frameless they can require yearly maintenance which can add up to a lot of money over a decade.

      Enphase microinverters appear reliable. They have some advantages for installations that suffer from significant shading or for a roof that is difficult to install on. While they have some advantages they aren’t cheap, so you may want to consider if they are worthwhile if your roof isn’t shaded.

      Some people have had problems with enphase envoy monitoring. I would suggest going with a different monitoring system. This article by Finn contrasts the Enphase Envoy with Solar Analytics:

      • Michelle Carter says

        Thanks for the information, I will do some research. we are doing a bush fire rebuild in Tathra NSW – there used to be lots of trees and shading but no more…
        All this is extremely new to us and we have to meet strict requirements with the BASIX and Nathers.

        • Ronald Brakels says

          Sorry to hear about the trees. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay more for a system out in Tathra than in a big city. If you let me know what brand the panels are I can give you my opinion of them, but our Solar 101 guide has a graphic of all the panels we recommend:

  6. Hi, just wondering when the Q Cells from South Korea will be released in Australia, with the 25 year product warranty ? Am considering 20 x 350W Hanwha Q Cells Q Maxx 1740mm x 1030mm monocrtstallines OR SHOULD I WAIT ?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      While QCELLS panels can have 25 year product warranties in the United States, our stricter consumer law legislation means warranties can be considerably shorter here. I haven’t heard about QCELLS will providing a 25 year product warranty here, but I hope it will happen.

      If you are looking for a 25 year product warranty you can get that from another manufacturer, as there are several that now offer it. Here’s our panel comparison table that includes warranty information:

  7. Mike Burnett says

    Question ; upon looking up solar panel manufacturers. It list the co. example
    Janko solar – 14.2 gw ( +25% ) what does the
    +25% mean ?

  8. It means the annual percentage growth in panels shipped from year 2018 to 2019

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