Hanwha Solutions, the No. 1 solar power company in Korea, has slipped by one notch in the global module production rankings as Chinese companies began to aggressively expand their presence thanks to the expansion of the Chinese market and support from the Beijing government.
Hanwha Solutions (previously Hanwha Q CELLS) placed second in the global solar module market in 2018 but its ranking slipped to third, PV Infolink said on March 1.
Last year, Chinese companies ranked first to ninth, except third place. In particular, China's JA Solar, which placed fifth in 2018, beat Hanwha Solutions by ranking second in 2019.
Chinese solar companies aggressively increased their production capacities. Hanwha Solutions had placed second in photovoltaic module production capacity until 2018 but was pushed down to sixth place by Chinese companies such as Longji, Canadian Solar, Risen Energy and JA Solar.
Although the Korean government is pushing for renewable energy promotion policies, Korean polysilicon companies are abandoning production one after another. The photovoltaic value chain consists of polysilicon, ingots, wafers, cells and modules. OCI and Hanwha Solutions announced that they will stop producing polysilicon. Korean photovoltaic material companies that produce ingots and wafers already lost a price war with Chinese companies.
In this situation, concerns are growing that the position of Korean PV companies in the overseas market may shrink. Yet Chinese companies are increasing their influence in the Korean market. In 2019, Korean companies’ solar modules exports to China hit US$437,000, down 69.3 percent from US$1,423,000 in the previous year, according to the Korea International Trade Association. In contrast, Korea’s solar module imports from China soared to US$367.53 million, an increase of 67.4 percent from US$219.52 million in the previous year.