of solar panels shipped in Jinko Solar's history



in panels shipped from 2018 - 2020


Lower CO2 Emissions

per megawatts of panels produced, 2014 - 2018

The Path to Drawdown: PV Solar Manufacturing

To solve climate change and remain below 1.5ºC of global warming, the globe needs to switch to generating power from fossil fuels to using 100% emissions free sources.

The largest source of this clean energy is the sun (barring advances in nuclear fusion). Photovoltaic or PV solar panels (the kind you see on rooftops) have emerged as the predominant way of capturing the sun's energy and converting it into electricity.

The industry has been growing fast and, as of 2020, solar panels are now the cheapest source of electricity in most places on earth.

Solar produces ~2% of global electricity today. According to Project Drawdown, to be on a path to remain under 1.5ºC of warming, rooftop and utility scale solar will need to be generating a combined ~40% of global electricity by 2050.

To get there, the PV solar industry is going to need to continue to massively scale over the few next decades:

  • 720 TWh of solar electricity generated in 2019
  • 28,200 TWh needed by 2050
  • CAGR of 12.56% from 2019 - 2050

Another analysis from the IEA predicts that in order to reach a 100% clean electricity grid by 2050, annual solar panel manufacturing capacity will need to scale from 110 GWs in 2019 to 500 GWs in 2030.


Headquartered in China, Jinko Solar (JKS) is the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the world. In additional to manufacturing, they invest heavily in R&D, pushing their solar cells to greater efficiencies.

JKS's Role in Drawdown

In 2019, shipped 14.3 GWs of solar panels. That’s 13% of the estimated global manufacturing production in 2019 of 110 GW. For them to retain a similar market-share, they will need to be producing 65 GWs of solar panels by 2030.

JKS seems to be on a path of fast expansion. In 2020, they shipped 18.8 GWs (a 31.4% YoY increase), and they are targeting 25 - 30 GW shipped by the end of 2021. Such a growth rate would put them on track to ship a whopping 388 GW of solar panels by 2030. We applaud Jinko Solar’s executives for such aggressive expansion and we encourage them to continue at such a rate beyond 2021.

JKS: What We Like

We love JKS’ commitment to growing their business. If all of the solar panel manufacturing industry followed their growth trajectory, the solar PV market would easily meet its output goals by 2030 and would be well positioned to establish solar as the primary electricity source of the future. Going beyond growth here’s what else stands out to us about JKS: 

  • 29% efficiency target for their multi-junction solar cells. They are putting in the R&D dollars to make their panels more efficient
  • 60.19% lower CO2 emissions per MW of solar panels produced in 2018 than in 2014
  • They rigorously track and report upon their sustainability metrics.

JKS: What We Want to See Improve

Set Clear Goals

Unlike other companies in the space, JKS has not set clear decarbonization goals for their manufacturing process or their supply chain. This makes it challenging for investors like us to hold them accountable for their sustainability commitments. For example, 100% clean electricity in their manufacturing process by 2028.

Design for Reuse

A circular solar economy is possible. JKS produces a lot of solar panels and will make many more. We push the executives at JKS to re-imagine their designs and a manufacturing process where the majority of inputs come from old panels. Such a process could insulate them from supply chain shocks and potentially boost their gross margins.

Clean Supply Chain

As the largest manufacturers in the world, we would like to see JKS throw its weight around and demand an emissions-free supply chain. Not only do we believe this is the right thing to do ethically, but we believe taking such actions now can mitigate the supply chain disruption risk of carbon taxes later.

Other Solar Manufacturing Stocks in the Climate Index

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