First Solar Remains Largest PV Supplier In Q1

Thin film manufacturer, First Solar remained the largest supplier of PV modules with a global share of 8.4% in the first quarter of 2010 according to the latest analysis of the PV module market from IMS Research.

Although shipments of its cadmium-telluride modules declined slightly over the previous quarter, First Solar still exceeded all of its crystalline rivals.

According to IMS Research, the first quarter of 2010 was a record quarter once again for the PV module market, with shipments increasing by 3% over the previous quarter, marking four quarters of consecutive growth. Most suppliers are now fully utilizing their ever expanding production capacities to fulfill soaring demand and Q2 2010 is forecast to continue this trend.

The battle of the major Chinese crystalline players continues with five of the top seven suppliers being large Chinese pure-play solar companies. Although Trina Solar shipped more modules than Yingli Solar for the first time, the quarter was far from unsuccessful for Yingli which enjoyed increased ASPs and an impressive gross margin of 33%.

However, the future of the Euro remains an ongoing concern for many Asian suppliers, with a further squeeze in margins likely in the second half of 2010.

”After a year of plummeting prices, Yingli Solar was able to increase its average selling price during Q1’10,” said Sam Wilkinson, research analyst with IMS Research’s PV Group. “However, whilst its average price increased almost 9% over Q4’09 measured in Euros, where it continues to ship the majority of its modules, the devaluation of the euro meant it only realised a 2% increase in Renminbi.”


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