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Clean Power Top 10 solar module suppliers in 2012, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

Published on February 5th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Top 10 Solar PV Module Suppliers In 2012



2012′s top 10 solar PV module suppliers should be familiar names to regular CleanTechnica readers, but can you guess them all, and can you guess the order?

Top 10 solar module suppliers in 2012, according to NPD Solarbuzz. Click to here enlarge.

As reported in January, Yingli has taken the top spot from Suntech (both of which are Chinese companies). Interestingly, though, Suntech isn’t even #2 this year. US-based First Solar had another strong year and was propelled into the #2 spot. Following those three, the top suppliers for 2012 were: Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Sharp Solar, Jinko Solar, JA Solar, SunPower, and Hanwha SolarOne, as you can see in the image on the right.

Aside from Yingli and Suntech, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar (ironically), Jinko Solar, JA Solar, and Hanwha SolarOne are all China-based suppliers. SunPower is based in the US, and Sharp Solar is based in Japan.

Clearly, the Chinese suppliers had the most to cheer about. Yingli hit an annual record for any company — 2.2 GW worth of solar panels. Meanwhile, JA Solar climbed from #15 to #8 in a single year.

“Although financial reports of most suppliers were damaged by the effects of continually declining ASPs, some of them successfully expanded their market share,” Solarbuzz analyst Ray Lian notes.

First Solar (which gets a good bit of attention here on CleanTechnica) is a unique company on the list for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s the only thin-film solar company on the list. Furthermore, as Lian notes, it has made a shift in its business model “from supplying modules to external customers to using them predominantly on internal projects.”

While these 10 solar module giants certainly consume a good piece of the solar module market, they accounted for less than half of global solar module demand. In other words, there are still quite a few companies in the game, and the solar shakeout is far from over.

For more stories on any of these solar companies, check out our archives for them:

  1. Yingli Solar
  2. First Solar
  3. Suntech
  4. Trina Solar
  5. Canadian Solar
  6. Sharp Solar
  7. Jinko Solar
  8. JA Solar
  9. SunPower
  10. Hanwha SolarOne

Drop a note below or connect with me on your favorite social media site to chat.

And, of course, if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to go solar in 2013!

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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  • http://MrEnergyCzar.com/ MrEnergyCzar

    Thanks Zach, surprised to see Sunpower so low on the list. At the time my solar was installed they had the highest power per square foot and offered all black panels…..they were more expensive of course.

    MrEnergyCzar

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Yeah, think they still lead the charts in that arena. But “cheap” sells, especially for large-scale projects that aren’t as concerned about getting as much power as possible out of a small rooftop. But impressive Sunpower is on the list with these cheaper suppliers, I think — a testament to how good their panels are.

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