This Award lauds Suntech for delivering low-cost, high-quality, innovative, and energy-efficient photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules and system integration solutions in the solar energy sphere to a growing customer base across the globe.
“The company's pioneering success in developing energy-efficient, cost-effective and customizable building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems and crystalline PV cells, and modules for solar energy conversion into electricity are highly commendable,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mary John. “It has gone beyond just meeting global energy needs to anticipating them as well and highly satisfied customers testify that the BIPV systems and other energy-efficient products are customized precisely to their needs.”
Suntech has maintained strong profitability and exhibited an exceptional doubling of revenue and output annually from 2005 to 2007. It is the third largest PV cell manufacturer and largest solar module manufacturer in the world, with a high production growth rate and market capitalization of $6.3 billion in 2007.
The company is export focused and ranks among the top three suppliers in the three largest solar markets – Germany, Spain, and the United States. It has exhibited impressive strides toward recognition in China, South Korea, Japan, France, Greece, Portugal, and Italy as well.
One of Suntech’s key success factors – its low-cost manufacturing model – is to a large extent attributed to the R&D and development of next generation solar cell technologies such as the ‘Pluto’ technology. Pluto technology facilitates usage of low-cost raw materials and is targeted to achieve conversion efficiency in the range of 18 to 20 percent.
In terms of process supply, Suntech has a low cost advantage as it is based in China and it has very low capital expenditure for production lines due to the utilization of a combination of the leading internationally produced production equipment and relatively low-priced Chinese equipment. Low cost has also facilitated its critical ability to secure silicon wafers at a time of tight supply.
“Suntech also leverages its ability to form constructive relationships with upstream and downstream participants and maintains a strong distribution and supply network globally, with expected expansions in the United States, Australia, and Europe,” notes John.
The company has one of the largest R&D departments in solar development space, with over 130 dedicated PV scientists and technical experts. It is in the process of developing a proprietary next-generation technology that improves the conversion efficiencies of PV cells and modules.
Suntech also has mature processes in place and has the ability to commercialize technology faster than its competitors due to the utilization of commercial scale production equipment for pilot production of new technologies. It is also developing innovative products for BIPV including a thin film line used in BIPV with R&D facilities in China and Japan.
This formidable in-house research is supplemented by long standing collaboration with the University of New South Wales in Australia and other renowned institutions. These relationships have been targeted toward increasing the conversion efficiency through developing and designing advanced equipment, promotion of thinner silicon wafers, and utilizing low-cost solar grade silicon.
Suntech has long standing good relations with a well-established client base world wide due to an established track record of high-quality consistent products, especially in large solar markets such as Germany and Spain. A longer history of operations compared with other Chinese counterparts and strong project and client referrals further increase client confidence.
For its outstanding focus toward R&D and its wide spectrum of top-class, energy-efficient solutions and products that are sustainable, customizable, and of the highest caliber, Suntech is the worthy recipient of the 2008 Company of the Year for solar energy development.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has demonstrated unparalleled excellence in design and delivery of high-quality PV cells and modules and customization of energy solutions in the solar development sphere to global clients in the past year. The expertise of the recipient has lent itself to above industry average cost effectiveness and exceptional responsiveness to customer needs, thereby earmarking its place as the frontrunner in solar energy development.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (suntech-power.com) is a world leading solar energy company as measured by both production output and capacity of solar cells and modules. Suntech is passionate about improving the environment we live in and dedicated to developing advanced solar solutions that enable sustainable development. Suntech designs, develops, manufactures, and markets a variety of high quality, cost effective and environmentally friendly solar products for electric power applications in the residential, commercial, industrial, and public utility sectors. Suntech offers one of the broadest ranges of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products under the MSK product line. Suntech has sales offices worldwide and is a market share leader in key global solar markets.
Frost & Sullivan, the Global Growth Consulting Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's Growth Partnership Services, Growth Consulting and Career Best Practices empower clients to create a growth focused culture that generates, evaluates and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents.