MajorsolarPV manufacturers have announced a flurry of new module manufacturing capacity this year -- all of it outside of China.

GTM Research, which today released the Global PV Manufacturing Attractiveness Index 2015 report, or PVMAX, has ranked the world’s most attractive countries in which to manufacture solar PV modules. Perhaps most surprisingly, the PVMAX finds that the United States is the world’s fifth-most attractive country for module manufacturing.

The global PV module market is facing a looming supply crunch, and manufacturers have taken notice. According to GTM Research, 6.6 gigawatts of new module manufacturing capacity have been contracted through the first nine months of this year, all of it in countries outside of China. Despite these planned plants, the global market may face a supply shortage over the next two years as demand grows.

FIGURE: Global Module Excess Capacity Ratio

Source: Global PV Manufacturing Attractiveness Index 2015 report

Anti-dumping duties and a diversifying global solar market are two major reasons for looking outside of China. To help businesses identify future manufacturing markets, GTM Research’s PVMAX scores and ranks 50 countries for their PV manufacturing attractiveness based on 25 distinct criteria across four categories: business environment, access to demand, PV manufacturing support, and all-in costs.

Still, China’s domestic demand, manufacturing support, and cost-competitiveness allow it to reign as the world’s most attractive market. However, for firms looking to sell modules outside of China, it might be worth exploring other countries for manufacturing plants. According to the PVMAX, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the United States rank second through fifth, respectively.

FIGURE: Global PV Manufacturing Attractiveness Index -- Top 10 Countries

Source: Global PV Manufacturing Attractive Index 2015 report

Despite the United States’ high manufacturing costs, it remains a global leader due to its strong demand and business environment.

“The U.S. is a very attractive country for manufacturing and ranks higher than any other high-cost country because of its robust domestic demand and access to markets globally,” said report author and GTM Research Senior Solar Analyst Mohit Anand.

The report notes that close to 10 percent of new module manufacturing capacity announcements this year has been for plants located in the U.S. “Anything that helps grow domestic demand, including an extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit, would further support U.S. attractiveness to manufacturers,” added Anand.

Rounding out the top 10 are India, Thailand, Canada, South Korea, and Germany.

Listen to the Energy Gang discuss whether America can ever become a manufacturing superpower:

***

For more information on the PVMAX report, contact sales@gtmresearch.com.