In 2013 SVTC augmented its research methodology for the Solar Scorecard to include prior survey responses and additional sources such as interviews, news stories, and publicly available data and information. Using this method, SVTC has scored 40 companies in the 2013 Solar Scorecard, representing an estimated 82.8% of the PV industry market share. Overall, 49.5% of the 2013 PV industry (based on market share) has responded to at least one SVTC Solar Scorecard survey.
Ten companies, representing 34.6% of the PV module market share, responded to the 2013 survey. This is a decline from 51.1% in 2012, due largely to the bankruptcy of several former participants and declining market shares of other major producers.
Results compiled from SVTC’s 2013 survey and research include the following:
- The number of PV companies with fully funded EPR programs went from one to zero. First Solar, for years the only major company with a fully funded EPR program, has eliminated its EPR program for most of the volume of its sales.
- Two PV manufacturers (Trina and Upsolar) have written letters to SEIA seeking action on EPR for PV modules in the US. Over the past three SVTC surveys, 13 companies have said they would support public EPR policy for PV modules.
- Seven companies (Astronergy, Sharp, SolarWorld, SunPower, Suntech, Trina, Yingli) have comprehensive internal policies that addresses worker rights, health, and safety.
- Two PV manufacturers (REC, SolarWorld) do extensive chemical emissions disclosure and reporting do extensive chemical emissions disclosure and reporting.
- Three PV manufacturers have signed the SEIA Environmental & Social Responsibility Commitment, eight other companies have similar internal policies, and nine other companies have commitments that lack several important elements. In all, 20 companies have some level of engagement with environmental and social responsibility guidance.
- Nine companies manufacture PV modules with amounts of cadmium or lead below regulatory thresholds set by the European Union, the world’s most stringent (Yingli, Trina, SunPower, Upsolar, Axitec, Mitsubishi, Renesola, LDK, Solar Frontier). This means that the maximum concentration found in any homogenous material that makes up these PV modules is less than 0.01% for cadmium and 0.10% or less for lead.
- Three companies have recently obtained or are planning to obtain incidental take permits for endangered, threatened, or species of special concern for their power plants (First Solar, SolarWorld, Trina). Note that not all companies build, own, or operate PV power plants.
- Twenty companies include information about PV recycling on their websites in varying degrees of depth. Most companies have links to PV Cycle for European customers.
- Zero companies can provide documentation to verify that their supply chains do not contain conflict minerals based on the due diligence guidelines set by the OECD.