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2012 Top Solar "Module" Manufacturers Worldwide

Listed below per IHS are the top ten "module" installation companies in 2012. First Solar dropped to number two while Yingli moved up to number one on the top 10 list. Six of the top 10 panel producers are Chinese and during 2012 well over 50% of all solar panels shipped were manufactured in China. The top 10 in 2012 accounted for 40% of market share, while the top 10 in 2011 accounted for 46% of market share. There is a general trend for companies to vertically integrate, i.e. manufacture all three stages of production - wafers, cells, and modules. Wafer companies are moving into cells because they have a cost advantage using their own wafers. Pure cell manufacturers are moving into modules, which is basically low tech assembly, but it also gives them a low cost material advantage. Major players want to be totally integrated from wafers to modules and even end user sales and installation. Having an internal supply of material shields companies from the up and down swings of the spot markets and provides an opportunity to "brand" their products.


The 10 Largest Solar "Module" Manufacturers - 2012

Rank Company Technology MW-dc
1  Yingli Green,  China c-Si 2,300
2  First Solar, USA CdTe 1,800
3  Trina Solar, China c-Si 1,600
4  Canadian Solar, China c-Si 1,550
5  Suntech, China c-Si, 1,500
6  Sharp, Japan c-Si, Thin Film Si 1,050
7  Jinko Solar, China c-Si 900
8  Sunpower, USA c-Si 850
9  REC Group, Norway c-Si 750
10  Hanwha Solar, China a-Si 750
      c-Si = Crystalline Silicon,  a-Si = Amorphous Silicon,         CdTe = Cadmium Telluride


Featured US Solar Companies:

This section presents a number of US companies each with different technologies and strategies to give the reader a feel for the breath of technology that makes up the solar industry. It is not meant to be a comprehensive survey and companies not mentioned should not be deemed to have poor technologies.