Wondering who’s making the solar modules being used today? Here’s a breakdown. The leader, First Solar, makes what’s known as “thin film” style modules. They use a very thin silicon surface (deposition) that is the cost advantage basis thin film technology tries to leverage (vs. “crystalline” wafer technology). Thin film has some disadvantages not the least of which are that they provide substantially less power output than crystalline (requiring many more panels and related roof or real estate be used) and their power output can typically deteriorate at a faster rate than crystalline. These are very substantial long term cost impediments but First Solar has scaled their business and manufacturing to a size where they have overcome some of these longer term disadvantages through lower “up-front” module prices. They are sort of the “big-box” store of modules.
Top 10 solar module manufacturers