Included in the August 2012 issue of PVNews was “Consolidation Dynamics in PV Manufacturing,” which detailed the fate the authors expect for many PV manufacturers: success (a handful of mostly Chinese companies); acquisition (a few); or failure (many). Several companies’ fates are classified as undetermined, and will depend on local market forces and the actions they take now.
In this fluctuating market, then, how can you best choose which modules to purchase? Considering the possibility that a manufacturer may not be around to service a future warranty claim, module quality becomes an even more important factor. Manufacturer longevity, although no guarantee, is correlated with module quality—companies that have been manufacturing modules longer are more likely to have worked out manufacturing bugs.