Where Are Most Solar Panels Manufactured?
China produced 78% of the world's solar panels in 2022. The reason they dominate is because the Chinese government realised the world would need large amounts of solar PV and encouraged investment in large-scale solar manufacturing.
Other countries could have done the same but didn’t.
Vietnam took second place in 2022 with 6% of world production. Despite making more panels per person than China, they came nowhere near China’s production.
China Produces Good & Bad Panels
The majority of solar panels produced in China are now good quality. China has the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers and they didn’t become giants by making rubbish. But because there are many small companies still producing low-quality panels it creates the misleading impression that a lot of Chinese solar panel production is lousy.
Panels We Recommend
When choosing solar panels it’s important to avoid low-quality ones, no matter where they’re made. You can check out the chart of solar panel brands we recommend here. We consider all these panels reliable and well supported in Australia. Most are made in China, including all the ones towards the lower-cost end of the market.
Panels Not Made In China
If you don’t want panels made in China, you can choose ones manufactured in another country. One example is REC panels which are all produced in one Singaporean factory.
But if you want Australian made you can go with Tindo, made right here in Adelaide.
If It Could Have Been Made In China It Will Have Been
Some Chinese companies manufacture panels inside and outside of China. They may make a big deal of their non-Chinese manufacturing locations in their advertising. But if a company produces a panel both in China and another country, the one sold here will – almost certainly – be made in China. This is because some countries have tariffs on Chinese panels, so ones made outside of China are preferentially sent to them, leaving the ones made in China for us.
Beware Of Misleading Names
Some solar companies have names that may mislead you about their manufacturing location. For example, you might think Canadian Solar would make panels in Canada. But while none of the panels they sell in Australia are made there, the company did start in Canada and doesn’t try to deceive people about where they now make their panels.
But there are Chinese manufacturers with German sounding names that are trying to mislead you about where they manufacture, so beware.
I'll leave you with this gem: