Aside from China, Taiwan and Japan, manufacturers from other countries also attended PV Expo, but most of them were equipment and raw material manufacturers. On account of the fact that China is currently the center of global solar cell industry and a market with great potential, major equipment and raw material manufacturers around the world all exhibited their latest products at SNEC, which was held in February in Shanghai. As for PV expo, due to the closeness of Japanese solar industry and comprehensive development of the equipment and raw material areas in Japan, participating manufacturers, including Centrotherm, Elkem and Washington Mills AS, were fewer compared to SNEC.
On the other hand, European and American manufacturers, which presently put the accent on thin film and innovative solar technologies, such as Global Solar, Uni-Solar, and KONARKA, while trying not to fall behind Japanese manufacturers, attended PV Expo as well.
Compared to last year, what drew attention was the size decline among South Korean manufacturers in terms of the amount of participating manufacturers and the general performance: Hyundai exhibited its achievement of vertical integration and its total solutions, but Samsung was absent from this year’s PV Expo. Nonetheless, a few promising South Korean manufacturers were spotted, including Hanmi Semiconductor, which focuses on wafer and module manufacturing, and Osolar, which is known for providing one-stop total solutions.
In conclusion, whether it is due to the fact that a series of solar exhibitions have been held since February or that the focus of Japanese solar market has shifted to Eco-Energy total solutions, the popularity of this year’s PV Expo has slightly decreased compared to last year. On the other hand, Eco Building and Smart Grid exhibitions still attracted a considerable amount of visitors, which may indicate that Japanese enterprises, official and academic circles have gained insight into a bigger picture of the green energy market and the tremendous profit potential behind it.