Chinese PV manufacturer Yingli became the largest global supplier of modules in 2012, according to data collected by analytics provider IHS.
During the 12 month period, Yingli managed to increase its merchant shipment volumes by 43 percent to leapfrog Suntech and U.S.-based First Solar – the two largest suppliers of 2011.
First Solar managed to defend its position as the No. 2 module manufacturer, while Suntech lost significant ground and was displaced to fifth position behind Trina Solar and Canadian Solar. REC was the only European manufacturer to make the top 10.
While the Top 10 in 2011 had accounted for 46 percent of global module shipments, the group last year only achieved a combined share of 40 percent.
“Canadian Solar, as well as Jinko Solar and Hanwha SolarOne were the only Top 10 companies that managed to grow merchant module shipments at a double-digit rate in 2012—in addition to Yingli and REC, of course,” said Stefan de Haan, principal analyst for solar at IHS.
“SunPower and Trina grew at a slower pace, while Suntech, First Solar and Sharp from Japan saw declining shipment volumes. Global PV end markets increased by a robust 14 percent in 2012, so on average the leading module suppliers effectively lost some ground.”