Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is vertically integrated across the solar value chain. It’s a Canada-based firm but most of its manufacturing takes place in China. Founded in 2001, the company now operates in 18 countries.
Within the solar power equipment industry, the company is known for its product quality, having received top ratings by industry authorities. As photovoltaic (PV) modules are achieving commodity status, technological advancement is a major competing factor for solar companies. Canadian Solar has a shorter operating history than most of its close peers. But despite its relative youth, it has consistently increased its market share over the past five years.
Overview: Business activities
Canadian Solar’s primary business activities are divided into two revenue streams:
- the manufacturing segment, which consists of the design and development of solar wafers, solar cells, and solar modules
- the total solutions segment, which consists of a range of activities including solar power project development, EPC services, and electricity revenue generation
The company has expanded its geographic reach to the United States, the United Kingdom, and emerging solar markets in China, Japan, and India.
In the past year, both Canadian Solar’s business segments have seen strong year-over-year growth in revenue, with the total solutions business increasingly picking up.
Canadian Solar’s key competitors include Trina Solar (TSL), SunPower (SPWR), First Solar (FSLR), JA Solar (JASO), ReneSola (SOL), and Yingli Solar (YGE). Each of these companies is diversified across the solar product value chain.
Read on to the rest of this series for a must-read analysis of Canadian Solar’s business model and performance within the industry.