How to grow the world leader in photovoltaic (the case of Yingli Solar)

Economy and management of the enterprise

This paper researches qualitative regularities of company development in the fast-growing sector of power engineering for solar energy. This subject is topical due to the strategic plans of developing renewable energy sources in Russia up until the year 2020 and the related prospects of establishing domestic manufacturing in the respective sectors of energy machine building with a primarily domestic market orientation. The chosen research method is a retrospective case-study of the development dynamics of the worldwide leader in photovoltaic element, unit and system manufacturing on the basis of polycrystalline silicon: the Chinese company Yingli Solar. The analytic materials of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association for 2009–2013, as well as the annual reports of the company for the period of 2006–2014, have served as the information base for the research. The article gives an efficiency rating to the corporate structure of the company, studies the market strategy and the innovative activity model of the company, and determines the primary factors of growth and competitiveness. Using the learning curve methodology we obtain quantitative ratings of learning rates in production and research activity of the company. We identify possible reasons for relatively low learning rates in production that the company has demonstrated during the researched period. The determined qualitative regularities of development of high-tech companies in new sectors of power engineering, as well as obtained quantitative ratings of learning in production and R&D, can be used for improving and correcting the strategic plans of renewable energy in Russia or for practical construction of high-tech business in the area of photovoltaics.