top solar panel companies and manufacturers

Top 10 Solar Companies and Manufacturers in 2022

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Who are the top solar companies in the world and in the USA? Industry analysts from SPV, SEIA and other organizations offer their top rankings, based on updated shipping forecasts from each of the companies included. *Note: if you are looking for information about tariffs on U.S. solar panel imports, read our complete analysis here.

What’s in this article?

The top 3 solar manufacturers

Currently, based on market share among panel manufacturing companies, the top 3 solar manufacturers in the world are: 

  • Jinko Solar: Headquartered in Shanghai China, Jinko Solar is the largest solar panel manufacturer in the world, and it operates in 160 companies globally. Their EAGLE modules are manufactured in plants in Malaysia and Florida. They are ranked number 1 in the ​​Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition Solar Scorecard and have committed to the RE100 plan to operate with 100% renewable energy by 2025. Read our full Jinko Solar review to learn more. 
  • JA Solar: JA Solar was founded in 2005 and their first manufacturing hub was built in Fengxian, China, where their main manufacturing hub now lives. They produce budget solar panels that fall in the mid-range for efficiency, although they do outperform most of their mid-range competitors. To learn more, take a look at JA Solar’s EnergySage Marketplace profile.
  • Trina Solar: Trina Solar is another world leader in solar panel manufacturing that was founded in China in 1997. They specialize in innovation: they have broken 21 world records on solar cell efficiency and module power. Recently, they have developed their Vertex module line which has efficiency ratings pushing those of premium panels. They are also ranked as a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Dive into our complete review of Trina Solar here. 

The biggest solar installation companies in the U.S. are Sunrun and Tesla.

There were some major changes over the past few years, including some new leaders in solar manufacturing who were once no names in the PV industry. JA Solar is grabbing market share with a passion while Hanwha Q CELLS has slumped. The question for you as a solar shopper: should you care if your solar panels are made by one of the big 10 manufacturers in the world? Are American made solar panels truly the better product when the majority of manufacturers are located elsewhere? Here’s our breakdown of the best solar manufacturers around the globe.

How to compare the best solar energy companies in the world

Because solar panel manufacturer rankings are based on the total volume of solar panels that the companies ship, being in the top position does not necessarily mean they offer the highest quality panel. Some of the smaller manufacturers specialize in premium products, whereas most of the larger manufacturers have gotten to where they are by either making a panel for the high volume market or by focusing their efforts on large-scale projects. That being said, a company’s proven ability to produce and sell a large amount of product is testimony to its brand’s credibility, buildng trust among consumers and installers alike.

The important thing for you to keep in mind as a solar shopper is the ability to differentiate between them to find the panel that best suits your needs and budget. To this end, EnergySage has developed a solar panel quality ranking system of our own so that our customers can confidently choose a panel and manufacturer.

If you’re interested in learning more about how panels are ranked, visit our Solar Decision Guide. When it comes to metrics like solar panel efficiency, the simple cost per watt of a single solar panel is not a unit of measure that can stand on its own. It’s important to understand the conversion potential of your panels as a way to decide which brand to go with. SunPower, for example, is heralded for its impressive conversion efficiency which has regularly fluctuated over the past 10 years for holding the world record. That being said, SunPower panels are much more expensive than a cheaper brand such as Canadian Solar and thus the size of your solar system and panel output will help you decide what will generate the most solar savings and most immediate payback period.

Where are the best solar panels being made?

The simple answer to this commonly asked question is East Asia, and you will notice that the majority of the top ten manufacturers are Chinese as the bulk of global solar panels are manufactured there. East Asia has become the solar manufacturing hub of the world and the latest emerging trend is that companies outside of China are starting to have success, including Canadian Solar.

As we’ve noted before, however, a panel’s country of manufacture is not usually the most important consideration for someone going solar. Instead, most people will find a balance between cost and quality, with a panel’s country of manufacture being a secondary consideration – a possible deal-breaker. For some homeowners, the importance of energy independence is a major factor when considering what brand of panels they would prefer. Though we at EnergySage support American companies and sustainability of the U.S. nation, we do recommend getting advice from your installer and considering their suggestions. After all, they will have the most up to date experience with long term efficiency, maintenance and durability of various solar panel brands and will also know which models are most popular on the market.

What are the top companies making solar panels in the U.S.?

Though the large majority of solar manufacturers import their equipment from southeast Asia (even in the case of leading American solar companies like SunPower), there is a short list of American solar companies that actually make their solar panels here in the United States and are headquartered in the country.

Here is the breakdown of who makes solar panels in the U.S:

Top American solar companies

CompanyHeadquartersTypes of Panels OfferedWarranty Period RangeNumber of Years in Business
Auxin SolarSan Jose, CAMonocrystalline25 years12 years
Certainteed SolarMalvern, PAMonocrystalline25 years110 years
First SolarTempe, AZThin film12 years30 years
Global SolarTuscon, AZFlexible thin film25 years24 years
GreenBrillianceSterling, VAMonocrystalline, polycrystalline10 years13 years
Lumos SolarNederland, COMonocrystalline10 years14 years
Prism SolarHighland, NYMonocrystalline25 years15 years
SeraphimHouston, TXMonocrystalline, ploycrystalline10 years19 years
SolariaFremont, CAMonocrystalline25 years20 years
SolarTech UniversalRiviera Beach, FLMonocrystalline15 years18 years
SunPowerSan Jose, CAMonocrystalline25 years35 years
SunSparkRiverside, CAMonocrystalline, polycrystalline12 years5 years
TeslaPalo Alto, CAMonocrystalline25 years17 years
PanasonicOsaka, JapanMonocrystalline, thin film amorphous silicon25 years102 years

The top 10 list of solar panel manufacturers (global)

A big part of calculating solar panel quality is understanding the metrics and factors that determine it such as module efficiency and performance. Check out this solar panel analysis to better understand significant characteristics that will impact your solar system’s panel performance. Also notable is the fact that not every company that made this list has a significant share of the US residential solar power market.

Included in the table below are the solar panel manufacturers with the largest global market share in 2020, based on sales in 2019. This is the most recent data available.

 Top solar panel manufacturers

2021 RankCompanyHeadquartersTypes of Panels OfferedWarranty Period RangeNumber of Years in Business
1LONGi SolarChinaMonocrystalline12 years20 years
2JinkoSolarChinaHalf-cell technology12 years14 years
3JA SolarChinaHalf-cell technology12 years15 years
4Trina SolarChinaMonocrystalline25 years23 years
5Canadian SolarCanadaMonocrystalline, polycrystalline12 years19 years
6Hanwha Q-CELLSSouth KoreaMonocrystalline12 years21 years
7Risen EnergyChinaMonocrystalline, thin film amorphous silicon12 years34 years
8AstroenergyChinaMonocrystalline, polycrystalline10 years36 years
9First SolarUSAThin film12 years30 years
10SuntechChinaHalf-cell technology12 years20 years

What are solar panels made of?

Most panels on the market are made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin film “amorphous” silicon. On a more granular level, solar panels are comprised of six different components including the following: 

  • Silicon solar cells: convert sunlight into electricity using the photovoltaic effect
  • Metal frame: protects against inclement weather and helps mount the panel at an angle
  • Glass sheet: shields the silicon solar cells, and allows sunlight through
  • Standard 12V wire: regulates the amount of energy being transferred into your solar inverter
  • Bus wire: connects the solar cells together in parallel 

To learn more about the processes and materials that leading manufacturers use, read our blog about cell types and parts of solar panels

Frequently asked questions about solar panel companies

What are the top 10 solar panel companies?

The top 10 solar panel companies globally with the largest market share are, in order, LONGi Solar, JinkoSolar, JA Solar, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q-CELLS, Risen Energy, Astroenergy, First Solar, and Suntech. 

What country is the largest producer of solar panels?

As noted earlier, China is the largest producer of solar panels worldwide. In 2017, the nation’s market share reached 51% and has since declined to just 27% in 2019—this indicates that new countries are producing and installing solar panels at a higher rate in a short period of time. As for the company with the largest production rate, JinkoSolar, headquartered in Shanghai, China, ranked first according to the most recent data.

How do I find a reputable solar company?

When you select an installer, you want to know that it’s a reputable company, with a strong track record, that has all the licenses and certifications required in your state, and with the expertise to design a solar panel system that’s right for your needs. 

Picking between solar installers can be a daunting task, but EnergySage is here to help. We vet the installers that quote on our Marketplace, present installer-specific differentiators in the quotes you see, and have created a badge tier system that helps you find the top solar installers in your area.

Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to explore solar quotes

For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would just like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator that offers upfront cost and long-term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. For those looking to get quotes from local contractors today, check out our quote comparison platform.

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61 thoughts on “Top 10 Solar Companies and Manufacturers in 2022

  1. Fred

    In an ideal world, reducing ENTROPY would guide ALL energy decisions. We should focus on improving efficiency within energy consuming systems, locally and globally, before we pursue any increase in energy resource production.
    If one adds up the combined energy consumed due to mineral extraction (Cu, AL, Fe, Si, transportation to factory, smelting, fabricating, transport to site, etc.) and the CO2 intensive coal fired plants used to manufacture silicon wafers (combined with the environmental impacts of HCl wastes, mineral tailings from manufacturing wafers), you will question whether we attain a positive net energy with PV panels.
    Environmental degradation from PV production systems (entropy) will eventually impose a future “entropy restoration cost” on the society (requiring consumption of even more energy and resources). Picture a mouse chasing its tail…
    If we reduce energy losses due to inefficient, insulation, transfer systems and energy storage systems, match renewable resource sites to appropriate energy density sites (photovoltaics to high solar density areas for example) we will reduce overall entropy as well as maximize our economic return on investments. Does it make sense to deploy photovoltaic arrays in New England as opposed to Arizona?
    “You can pay me now or pay me later” for production and use inefficiencies, but as China, Korea and other “producers” have found the entropy created in the environment will extract a future cost that will, again, consume energy and resources to repair.

  2. Terry Orzechowski

    Does any manufacturer of the Solar Panel use solar power exclusively to make Solar Panels? If not how can I be certain that it does not take more fossil fuel energy to make the panels than I will get out of the panels?

    1. AOK

      “Does any manufacturer of the Solar Panel use solar power exclusively to make Solar Panels?” No.

      “If not how can I be certain that it does not take more fossil fuel energy to make the panels than I will get out of the panels?” This is a complex response. In an attempt to simplify, you will be generating electricity for a minimum of several decades with energy generated from the sun, from equipment that was manufactured once. It is not a fair comparison to think about in terms of the energy to manufacture the modules, but rather the fossil fuels that are no longer generating the equivalent amount of electricity over the ensuing decades. Over the lifetime of the system, there is a significant reduction in fossil fuels use.

      1. AHM

        The answer to this question is rather simple. You look at the energy payback time. There are several studies published on the subject and all of them are more or less in agreement. To the best of my recollection, the energy payback time for c-Si is about 3 years while that for CdTe is close to 1.5 years or less. These panels will efficiently produce electricity for at least 25 years. Do solar panels produce the energy over its lifetime that it requires to be manufactured is more like a 1980s question.

      2. BrianA

        A lot of manufacturing equipment is 480 three phase. I would assume that its dependent on if there is enough room on the roof to have enough panels to handle that need.
        I would assume that most of the solar on the roof of the plant supports the lights and all other 120 volt items in the building.

    2. John McCullough

      What if a Solar Panel manufacturer figured out how to use diesel fuel produced by plastic pyrolysis. Seems like it could be a win-win.

      1. Michael Whitney

        Best case long term would be to manufacture in a location that would allow for a hydroelectric plant in the vicinity and use a small solar array for backup. Excess solar could be sent to the grid and loads for the factory and potentially local area could be covered by the hydro.

    3. Hayden Mullen

      It generally takes 6 months to 1 year for panels to offset the carbon created from manufacturing. Former Blue Raven Solar installer.


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