Is Panasonic Discontinuing Solar Panels?

Panasonic first entered the solar panel market in 1975 and has been a major manufacturer of photovoltaic modules ever since. The company produces high-efficiency monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels in Japan, Malaysia and China [1]. Panasonic’s solar panels are known for their high quality and reliable performance, making them a popular choice for residential and commercial installations [2]. In recent years, Panasonic has expanded its solar offerings to include complete solar systems, energy storage solutions, and additional clean energy technologies. The company has a long history and solid reputation in the solar industry.

Recent Changes in Panasonic’s Solar Business

In 2020, Panasonic announced plans to stop producing solar panels at its factories in Malaysia and Japan by March 2022. The company said it would close these production facilities and transition to sourcing panels from external manufacturers instead (source).

This restructuring meant Panasonic would discontinue manufacturing its HIT solar panels, which combined mono crystalline silicon and amorphous silicon technology. The company cited declining profitability and increased competition in the solar panel manufacturing business as reasons for this shift (source).

While closing its own factories, Panasonic announced plans to partner with other solar panel suppliers to continue offering PV modules to customers under the Panasonic brand. The company said it would maintain its solar panel sales channels and customer service infrastructure.

Panasonic’s Official Statements

In a press release from October 2020, Panasonic announced that it would “exit the production of solar panels at the Gigafactory in Buffalo, NY and cease its operations at the end of May 2021.” The company stated that the decision was due to stringent price competition in the solar panel business.

However, Panasonic later clarified that it was not completely exiting the solar business. In a 2021 press release, Panasonic stated: “Let’s be clear—Panasonic is not exiting the solar market. Earlier this year, we announced that Panasonic would discontinue production of solar panels at our Buffalo factory. But we remain committed to the solar space with our high efficiency premium HIT solar panels.”

In January 2023, Panasonic provided an update stating: “Two years ago, Panasonic announced that it would discontinue production of solar panels at its Malaysian and Japanese factories by March 2022 and bring in a new technology partner for U.S. panel production.” The company affirmed it was still active in the solar industry through residential installers and with energy storage systems.

Overall, while Panasonic has ended panel production at some factories, the company maintains it is still committed to the solar market through its premium panels, distribution channels and energy storage offerings.

Market Conditions and Competition

The global solar panel market is experiencing rapid growth, with estimates projecting over 15% compound annual growth through 2030. According to Grand View Research, the market will reach $607.8 billion by 2030 as solar energy becomes increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels. Key factors driving market growth include declining panel costs, supportive government policies, and increased climate change awareness.

the solar panel market is experiencing rapid growth globally

While the overall solar market is expanding, the competitive landscape continues to evolve. Major players like JinkoSolar, JA Solar, and Trina Solar control significant global market share, though new entrants are disrupting the status quo. There is also consolidation occurring, with companies acquiring smaller manufacturers to increase economies of scale. Locally, smaller installers face pricing and supply chain challenges competing against large national providers.

In the residential market, Tesla’s Solar Roof product aims to make solar panels aesthetically attractive. Competitors are also innovating with integrated storage options and improved efficiency panels. Overall, as solar power achieves grid parity in more regions, the market appears positioned for continued strong growth.

Panasonic’s Current Solar Offerings

Currently, Panasonic still offers a range of high-efficiency solar panels for residential and commercial use in the United States. Their key solar panel products include:

The HIT® N335 Photovoltaic Module – Panasonic’s most efficient 96-cell residential solar panel, with up to 19.7% efficiency and 335w power output (Source).

The VBHNxxxSA16 Series – Commercial-grade 72-cell solar panels with efficiencies up to 19.7% and power outputs up to 360w (Source).

Panasonic EverVolt Series – Their mid-range line of 60-cell solar panels for residential use, with up to 19.4% efficiency and 320w output (Source).

Although Panasonic withdrew from solar cell and module manufacturing for a few years, they appear to have reentered the US residential and commercial solar panel market. Their lineup offers high-efficiency, premium products compared to many mainstream brands.

Expert Analysis

While Panasonic has scaled back its production of solar panels, industry experts don’t believe this signals an end to the company’s solar business. Many point to Panasonic’s strong reputation for high-efficiency panels and advanced solar technology. As one expert stated, “Panasonic has always played the long game when it comes to solar. They recognize the value of continuous R&D to push the envelope on performance” (Source). Another analyst explained, “Panasonic remains committed to developing next-generation solar products, including panels integrated with energy storage.”

Rather than discontinuing solar outright, experts suggest Panasonic is adjusting production to meet fluctuating market demands and focus resources on enhancing solar technologies. As market share leader Enphase moves into panel manufacturing, Panasonic is wise to re-evaluate its competitive strategy. But most agree Panasonic is too vested in solar innovation to exit completely. As one industry veteran concluded, “Panasonic has been integral to advancing PV technology. I fully expect them to continue driving solar progress.”

Panasonic’s Solar Roadmap

Panasonic has outlined a new solar roadmap focused on developing innovative solar technologies while gradually exiting the solar panel manufacturing business. According to their website, Panasonic is shifting investments into perovskite and tandem solar cells that can be integrated into building materials like glass. They aim to commercialize these technologies by 2025 (Panasonic solar in 2023 and beyond).

Reports also indicate Panasonic is developing transparent solar panels and flexible solar foils that can turn entire building surfaces into solar generators (I Saw Panasonic’s Plan to Turn Walls and Windows Into Solar Energy). While scaling back silicon solar panel production, Panasonic seems focused on next-generation photovoltaics that can expand where and how solar energy is harvested.

Impact on Customers

The changes in Panasonic’s solar business will have some impact on current customers who have installed Panasonic panels. According to Panasonic solar in 2023 and beyond, Panasonic will continue to honor warranties and provide service for existing customers. However, some customers may feel uncertain about the future support and servicing of their systems. There is also some concern that without Panasonic manufacturing its own panels, quality and performance could suffer in the future.

For customers looking to expand an existing Panasonic system, the options are now more limited. Panasonic’s AC modules, which combined microinverters with the panel, have been discontinued. So any expansions would likely use third-party inverters. Some customers have expressed frustration over the lack of seamless expansion options. According to comments on solar forums, some feel misled or uncertain about Panasonic’s commitment to the solar business long-term.

On a positive note, Panasonic states that its high-efficiency panel technology will continue to be available through its OEM partners (Panasonic solar in 2023 and beyond). So customers should still have access to quality panels, albeit without the Panasonic branding. But the company’s decision to step back from manufacturing does mean the loss of a major solar innovator and competitive force in the market.

Alternatives for Customers

With the changes in Panasonic’s solar panel business, customers may want to look into other top solar panel brands as alternatives. Some of the leading options include:

SunPower – Often ranked as the top solar panel brand, SunPower panels have an industry-leading efficiency rating of up to 22.8%. Their high-efficiency design means you can get more power from fewer panels.

REC Group – REC solar panels combine high-efficiency with competitive pricing. Their Alpha series reaches up to 21.7% efficiency. REC is known for quality and reliability.

Silfab – This North American manufacturer offers high-performing panels that can handle challenging environments. Their Elite series reaches up to 21.4% efficiency.

LG – A well-known tech brand, LG offers NeON solar panels range from 19.6-22.3% efficiency. They come with a 25-year product warranty.

JinkoSolar – One of the largest global solar companies, JinkoSolar panels range from 19-21% efficiency. They focus on cost-effective solutions.

There are many excellent solar brands to choose from beyond Panasonic. Working with a qualified solar installer is the best way to determine which solar panel and system is right for your home.


After reviewing Panasonic’s recent changes to its solar business, official statements, market conditions, current product offerings, and potential roadmap, the evidence suggests Panasonic is scaling back its production of solar panels but not fully exiting the market. While some solar panel models have been discontinued, Panasonic appears to be shifting focus to its most efficient and competitive panels while deprioritizing less profitable ones. However, Panasonic remains committed to its solar business in the long-term, evidenced by its membership in key industry associations, partnership with Tesla on solar roofing, and statements affirming their continued solar panel production and R&D. With strong brand recognition and solar expertise, Panasonic is well positioned to remain a major player as the solar industry evolves. Customers seeking alternatives to discontinued Panasonic models have several options from trusted brands producing high-efficiency panels. The outlook suggests Panasonic will focus on its most innovative solar technologies while scaling back commodity panel production in the face of market headwinds and tight competition.

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