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?
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:
- Yingli Solar
- First Solar
- Trina Solar
- Canadian Solar
- Sharp Solar
- Jinko Solar
- JA Solar
- Hanwha SolarOne
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