First Solar Holds World Lead in Solar Production in 2011

Which solar manufacturers produced the most modules in 2011?

Chinese solar companies grabbed four of the top five positions.  US-based First Solar holds the lead with 2 gigawatts (GW), followed by China-based Suntech, Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar and Canadian Solar, according to Lux Research’s latest Solar Supply Tracker.

The top 10 companies produced 12.5 GW of modules, 44% of  global module production in 2011.

Triggered by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and competition with China, Japan and South Korea are showing increasing interest in solar production.

This year, Japan-based Sharp, which has always been one of the world’s largest solar PV makers, and South Korea-based Hanwha were among the top 10.

"Expect to see a major rise in market share from Japanese and Korean suppliers, while European module manufacturers struggle with financial woes and reduced government incentives for solar in Europe," says Fatima Toor, an analyst for Lux Research.

Top 10 2011 Module
        % Global Module
        Module Production in 2011
First Solar         7         2,001
Suntech Power         6.5         1,866
Yingli Green Energy         5.5         1,554
Trina Solar         4.9         1,395
Canadian Solar         4.8         1,363
Sharp         4.1         1,155
Hanwha Solar One         2.9         825
Jinko Solar         2.8         782
LDK Solar         2.7         774
SolarWorld         2.7         767

Prices for crystalline silicon modules are at record lows – Tier 1 manufacturers are selling them for about $0.9 per watt and Tier 2 and Tier 3 manufacturers are selling at even lower rates to deplete inventories and survive current market conditions, says Lux.  

Here’s the Solar Tracker:

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