Surprise: Chinese Suppliers Dominate Solar PV Module Rankings

Try not to act surprised that the familiar Chinese suppliers still sit atop the list of solar photovoltaic (PV) module shipments in 2011, though one is making a stronger push to keep up with the others.

Suntech kept its top rank, which it snatched from First Solar in 2010, back when Chinese suppliers were still making a name for themselves. (Since 2Q11 the Suntech-Yingli-Trina triumverate has owned these rankings; today, only one non-Chinese manufacturer is in the top 5.) Suntech supplied more than 2 gigawatts of modules in 2011, an industry first, and eight of the 10 largest suppliers grew shipments by 10 percent or more. Most, however, saw a slowdown during 4Q11 (notable exceptions were Canadian Solar and Trina), despite a surge in Germany because of high inventory levels. Jinko also stands out with its eye-popping rise up the charts, more than doubling shipments during the year.

“2011 claimed a number of victims, but nearly all of the top-10 suppliers grew their shipments and collectively they accounted for nearly half of total industry shipments,” noted IMS Research senior market analyst Sam Wilkinson.

 

PV module supplier rankings, by MW shipments. Does not include module processing services or OEM shipments. (Source: IMS Research)

PV module supplier rankings, by MW shipments. Does not include
module processing services or OEM shipments. (Source: IMS Research)

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Jim is Contributing Editor for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, renewable energy and industrial lasers since 2003. His work has earned both internal awards and an Azbee Award from the American Society of Business Press Editors. Jim has 17 years of experience in producing websites and e-Newsletters in various technology markets.

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