17 April 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 174: International Energy Markets & Company Strategies (DEU/ENG)

By |2019-04-17T12:19:30+02:00Wednesday, 17 April 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

German + English Edition Available!

Our April newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No.174, 53pp) covers two topics:

A. Prices and market balance in the oil, gas and hard coal markets worldwide.

B. Company strategies and market trends in fossil and renewable energy markets (including EV and batteries).

Some focus topics of this issue are:
(a) Price divergence between fuels has further deepened: Oil, carbon up, gas, coal down; price outlook Brent
(b) the changing character of the US gas market; gas flaring in the Permian

c) Global oil companies: Three strategic groups emerging – features and outlook; China´s oil giants under pressure;
d) LNG and commodity traders;
e) PV giants: strategies and financial balances
f) Global wind turbine makers: rankings and financial stability; market access to China remains difficult
g) Shell´s utility strategy; global overview: NextEra,  Xcel,  Eskom
h) Electric vehicles: New EV policy in China; update global statistics

Please find more on our newsletter subscription options here, or follow us on Twitter here. The newsletter is available in ENGLISH and in GERMAN.

11 January 2019

Global Ranking of PV Cell Producers: China 8 : US 1

By |2019-01-14T15:37:08+02:00Friday, 11 January 2019|Categories: China, pv industry|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Solar expert Finlay Colville recently presented the 2018 ranking of solar cell producers. In a nutshell, Chinese PV companies strengthened their position, in line with Beijing´s NDRC plan to dominate specific global growth industries.

1. About ten years ago the Chinese PV industry accelerated global expansion and strengthened the vertical value chain within China (module, cell, wafer, ingot, poly). But they still faced strong competition from high-quality pure cell producers in Taiwan, Japan and Germany and from thin-film specialists such as FirstSolar (U.S.).

2. Soon after, the Japanese and German producers were outcompeted via costs. Over time, even Taiwanese cell producers such as Hanwha Q-CELLS were unable to keep pace with the extremely fast expansion plans of their (mainland) Chinese competitors. 

3. In the next step, even Chinese pure-play cell producers such as Tongwei and Aiko set up a blistering pace of investment with multipes of 5 GW factories, disregarding any risk of oversupply and financial losses.

Ranking 2018

Today, the chart shows that 8 out of the Top 10 PV cell producers are Chinese companies, joined by Hanwha Q-CELLS (Korea) and First Solar (U.S.).

Four of the Chinese Top10 players (JA Solar, Trina Solar, JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar) are global module suppliers with well-known brands, covering almost the entire product range from p-multi to mono PERC cells. They have large in-house cell production capacities and buy additional cells from the likes of Tongwei or Aiko. 

Hanwha Q-CELLS also features a well-known brand and Korean-style conglomerate strategies.

LONGi Solar follows a slightly different path and features a highly integrated value chain from ingot to module.

Shunfeng, on the other hand, is a large cell/module producer mainly confined to the Chinese market. Investment limitations have so far delayed a shift from older product types to more efficient products.

Tongwei and Aiko pursue a strategy of extremely rapid expansion of cell capacities with 20 GW each. This will put pressure on competitors worldwide and may prevent cell prices to rise for some time to come.

Tempe/Arizona-based First Solar (U.S.)  is the only important thin-film solar cell producer worldwide.


The industry is at several technological crossroads: the switch from multi to mono crystalline products is already in full swing. The step from p-type fo more efficient n-type (and PERC) products is only starting and mainly supported by Chinese policies (Top Runner). If n-type production is mastered at reasonable cost and at gigawatt level, a large investment wave may start. But the timing is still unclear.

However, Colville hands his personal technology award not to Chinese c-Si cell makers, which follow a low-risk technological path mainly developed by Western competitors some years ago (PERC, AI-BSF), but to U.S. thin-film specialist First Solar. The company last year managed the switch to Series 6 product lines. It now occupies a unique position both in terms of products and manufacturing and may improve its Top10 ranking in 2019.

But the progress of the (from a Western point of view) “last man standing” does not alter the overall picture: The fight is over – Upstream PV from silicon to modules has become a Chinese industry.

Read more on company strategies in the PV and wind industry  in the next edition of our Global Energy Briefing (German/English version available)

14 February 2018

Global Energy Briefing Nr.159: Risk-Off Verkaufswelle in Energiemärkten, Strategien der Energiekonzerne weltweit, Trends in der Elektromobilität

By |2019-03-25T11:26:13+02:00Wednesday, 14 February 2018|Categories: Atomenergie, China Energiepolitik, Elektromobilität, Gasmärkte, Gaspreise, Kohlemärkte, Kohlepreise, LNG, Ölbranche, Ölmarkt, Ölpreise, Photovoltaik, Projektfinanzierung, Stromkonzerne, Unternehmensstrategien, Windenergie|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

In der aktuellen Ausgabe unseres Global Energy Briefing (9.Februar, Nr.159 ) berichten wir über Märkte und Strategien im Energiesektor:

  1. Der erste Teil des Newsletters zeigt wie üblich die aktuelle Lage auf den internationalen Märkte für Öl, Gas und Kohle: Der im letzten Sommer einsetzende Aufwärtstrend bei den globalen Energiepreisen wurde in den letzten Tagen jäh unterbrochen. Öl, Gas und Kohle brachen in wenigen Tagen um etwa 10 Prozent ein. Auslöser war die “Risk-Off”-Verkaufswelle an den internationalen Finanzmärkten. Sie erfasste zunächst die Anleihenmärkte (steigende Zinsen), dann die Aktienmärkte (Gewinnmitnahmen) und parallel dazu auch die Rohstoffmärkte.
  2. Im zweiten Teil stellen wir die wichtigsten News und Strategien der Energiekonzerne weltweit vor. Im Mittelpunkt stehen Ørsted, Enel (in Lateinamerika), AEP, Invenergy, NextEra, Goldwind, Vestas, GE RE, Iberdrola, Jinko Solar, Longi Solar, Canadian Solar, Shijiazhuang Dongfang Energy, UREC, Macquarie, GIP, Norsk Hydro, CNNC-CNEC, Dominion Energy, Snam und ONGC. Außerdem gehen wir auf die aktuellen Debatten um Solarzölle in den USA und Indien ein.
  3. Im dritten Teil stehen die Trends in der Elektromobilität im Mittelpunkt: Die neuesten Marktdaten aus aller Welt, ein Ranking der Hersteller und eine Übersicht über die Plug-Standards.


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