http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...-ceo-says.html

Most of the biggest solar-equipment makers may disappear in the next few years as plunging prices erode margins and drive the weakest out of business, according to Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL), the fifth-largest supplier of solar panels.

“This is the decade of mergers and acquisitions,” Jifan Gao, chief executive officer of Changzhou, China-based Trina, said in an interview. “From now until 2015 is the first phase, when about two-thirds of the players will be shaken out.”

Three U.S. solar companies including Solyndra LLC have gone bankrupt this year and more, led by First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., slashed sales and margin forecasts, reflecting slower growth in demand and stiffer competition. SunPower Corp. (SPWRA) and Roth & Rau AG (R8R) of Germany agreed to takeovers.

Gao, who founded Trina in 1997, predicted that only about five companies may survive through 2020 in each of the three major manufacturing segments. He defined those as photovoltaic panels, ingots and wafers, and the raw material polysilicon.

“Globally, that would be stable and sustainable,” Gao said last week in Singapore, without naming survivors or his expectations for his own company.