Climate change was once a very controversial topic, and we were mostly surrounded by nay-sayers and skeptics. People would claim that it was normal and that this was just a giant conspiracy to promote clean energy. However, now we are in 2020 where wildfires have been blazing in different parts around the world, torrential rains, floods, and hurricanes are affecting different countries and coastal cities, heat waves have become the norm and the glaciers are melting at extraordinary speeds. It is safe to say that climate change is incredibly real and that the effects of global warming are beginning to get bad.
One way to slow down and potentially stop the effects of global warming is to stop using fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy. One of the sources of renewable energy happens to be solar energy. Solar energy can be harnessed through the use of solar panels and whilst solar panels and the entire setup was very expensive and exclusive at first, it is now a lot cheaper and accessible.
The process of capturing and converting solar energy into electricity or heat is now possible through the process that is better known as photovoltaic. This is the phenomenon where photons of light end up creating an excitation in electrons that flow, and then in the process of flowing from one place to another, creating power.
There is a lot of potential in solar energy and all of us can look to benefit from it easily. There happen to be a variety of good solar companies that are providing great services.
#1 Jinko Solar
We are going to start things off by mentioning one of the biggest names in the industry, which in this case happens to be located in Shanghai, China. Jinko Solar is a name that is known and respected by many people and for good reason. They started a meager wafer manufacturing company in 2006, but they were able to change things in the next decade or so and established themselves as a titan in the solar panel manufacturing industry.
Jinko Solar was able to rake in over $3 billion in profits since they managed to ship 11.4GW of solar panel modules globally. If numbers impress you then Jinko Solar has managed to install 18 GW worth of solar panels around the world already.
Jinko Solar is held up to a higher standard and has managed to rack up quite the clientele. Jinko Solar works on a variety of solar modules which includes both monocrystalline and photovoltaic modules. They have also introduced a nano-scale module known as the black eagle that can absorb 99.7% during their peak performance.
Jinko Solar happens to own six manufacturing plants and happens to have 15 subsidiaries across Asia, America, Europe, and Australia. So they have branched out to multiple continents.
#2 LONGi Solar
China has quite a claim on the solar panel market, and this is why the second company we feature is another Chinese company with its main headquarters at Xi’an, China. LONGi has been looking to set up solar plants in different parts of the world. One of their factories was established in Chuzhou, China, and this plant is expected to produce 5 GW of energy. They are also in the process of setting up a 1 GW plant in Andhra Pradesh, India to become a giant in the Indian solar panel market. Once these factories and plants are set up, LONGi is projected to surpass the 13 GW barrier and will eventually be able to produce up to 45 GW of energy annually.
This is a renowned company for many reasons including their consistency in being placed in the Tier-1 Bloomberg list, being awarded as the producer of the best performing solar panels in 2018 by TÜV Rheinland, and is also considered to be amongst the top brands by the DNV-GL Laboratory.
#3 JA Solar
Our third company is another Chinese company and is considered to be one of the giants of the industry in China and this company happens to be JA Solar which has its headquarters in Shanghai and Ningjin. JA Solar was founded in 2005 and they have only been getting better since. They specialize in everything from designing, manufacturing, and specializing in both photovoltaic and monocrystalline modules. They operate in 100 countries, and because of their amazing progress, they have managed to reach 23 GW of solar capacity, and this has allowed them to collect up to $3 billion in profits.
JA solar can be credited too for their innovation and what they have managed to achieve in a small period. They were the first to mass-produce 300-watt photovoltaic panels, and have accomplished the feat of building the biggest photovoltaic farm in China, that too a floating one. They are primarily renowned as one of the lead manufacturers of high-end photovoltaic products on a global scale.
#4 Canadian Solar
If we talk about the largest producer of solar panels in America, then Canadian Solar is in the lead and is competing with other Chinese manufacturers globally. As the name suggests, Canadian Solar is known to have its main headquarters in Ontario, Canada. However, they still happen to have branches and facilities in South America, China, Southeast Asia, and Brazil. They ship ingots, photovoltaic panels, wafers, and other parts.
They currently have a solar capacity of 24 GW in terms of their photovoltaic panels across different continents. The company’s current focus is to create the highest possible power with the least amount of space possible to increase overall efficiency drastically. Canadian Solar is one of the few companies that can compete with bigger Asian companies like Jinko Solar, LONGi, and JA Solar for their work.
#5 Trina Solar
Trina Solar is another Chinese company that has its main headquarters in Jiangsu, and it is considered to be a high-end brand. Trina Solar started late compared to its competitors but it is making big moves and has already managed to reach a solar capacity of 11 GW. One thing that this brand did was infiltrate the Indian market, and it has now managed to dominate it. Most of India’s solar panels are produced by Trina Solar.
Trina Solar has also managed to focus solely on increasing and improving the overall efficiency of its solar panels and is looking to make it possible to increase the effectiveness of their solar cells as well. They have managed to develop both polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels which happen to have efficiency rates of 21.25% and 22.61% respectively, and that is pretty good if you consider the fact that the first solar panel that was created only had an efficiency of 6%
#6 SunPower Corp
We will now direct our attention towards Silicon Valley and look at one of the oldest and leading brands of solar energy, SunPower Corp. SunPower Corp has been in the game for more than 30 years, so it has been a leader for the past 3 decades.
Their solar panels have an efficiency rate of 22.7%, making it one of the best and most effective in the market. These solar panels have managed to generate 18 million MWh to date, and that is very impressive.
One of the things that make SunPower great is how committed they are to being eco-friendly. Sun Power corps is one of the very few brands that happen to have a Cradle to Grave certification, meaning all of their products and materials are safe for humans, the environment and are also recyclable, reducing waste.
Another great thing about SunPower Corp is the fact that its biggest investor is Total S. A, which happens to be a big oil company in Europe, so it is safe to say that this company is proving the fact that the future is green and clean energy.
#7 Hanwha Q Cells
Hanwha Q cells established itself in 2015 and have its headquarters in both Thalheim, Germany, and Seoul, South Korea. With less than 5 years in the game, this company which was once just a German brand became a part of the Hanwha Group and started creating mostly premium, good-quality photovoltaic panels.
The things that make Hanwha Q cells stand out are Q.ANTUM, patented technology, and method that works to improve the efficiency of cells even in poor conditions with bad light quality like cloudy weather, during Autumn, and other instances where the Sun has a weaker presence. Hanwha Q cells are currently one of the most renowned Asian suppliers for both the European and Japanese markets, and they are looking to open two more production planets in more markets.
#8 First Solar
This American solar company has its main station in Tempe, Arizona. They are currently responsible for a solar capacity of 17 GW worldwide, and they are also known for their work with Thin Film Solar cells, a completely different kind of photovoltaic panel.
As the name suggests, thin-film solar cells require one or multiple layers of thin photovoltaic materials over materials like metal, glass, and plastic. The benefit of this second-generation technology is to create a more flexible panel that can be added to other surfaces like windows and roofs. This technology is great for photovoltaic farms, and can also be used with already rigid panels as well, making them versatile and flexible thanks to their lightweight.
While they are not entirely as efficient, they are a lot cheaper than our carbon-silicon panels. This company has helped to establish photovoltaic farms around different parts of the world including Canada, the US, Abu Dhabi, Germany, and Spain.
#9 GCL-System Integration
GCL-System Integration is an older company that was founded in the 90s and has only managed to improve and get better in the last 3 decades. This is another Chinese company that is based in Hong Kong and has managed to create a name for itself amongst other Solar Power giants in the world.
They have operations around different parts of the world and currently have 30,000 employees working under them. It currently has five-module productions distributed between China and Vietnam and has a solar capacity of 8 GW. GCL-System Integration is considered to be amongst the top six-module suppliers for the last 3 years by Bloomberg, and their current goal is to try to enter the Indian Market which is currently monopolized by other Chinese manufacturers like LONGi solar.
#10 LG Energy
The final company that we will be mentioning in this list happens to be LC energy, and yes this company is a part of LG Electronics. This South Korean brand has a name for itself in the solar markets for its energy storage solutions and photovoltaic panels.
LG Energy panels are considered to be amongst the best when it comes to their performance and overall reliability and this shows because every LG panels do happen to come with a 25-year warranty. LG energy is currently dominating the Australian market and is popular in both the US and Europe.
The LG Neon 2 module is one of the most efficient panels that has been introduced by the company recently. The LG Neon 2 module can increase the solar panel’s performance by producing and absorbing energy from both sides of each cell.
This panel is not only famous for its innovation and technology, but also because of its look and overall construction as well. LG is currently just focusing on mono-crystalline cells to create their panels which helps them since this material has a much lower degradation level.
So we have managed to create a compile a list of solar power companies and manufacturers that are known for the efficiency, quality, and overall popularity of their products on a global scale. This of course is necessary since it helps you make sure that you choose the right company’s products for yourself whenever you do buy a solar panel in the future. It can be tempting to opt for a cheaper, less renowned brand, but then if the panels fail to perform, you will only have yourself to blame because you have all of the information now to make sure you made good decisions here.
You might not be looking to convert into solar energy right now, but there is no denying the fact that the future is now solar energy. We have to slowly convert to solar energy to make sure that we can save the planet because if we continue our current way of life, this planet will no longer be safe for us to live in the next couple of decades.