By IMS Research, edited by Renewable Energy Focus
First Solar, which held the top spot in 2009, fell to second place, increasing its solar PV shipments by less than 50% although the total market more than doubled.
Whilst market conditions meant that all solar PV suppliers could grow their shipments, some suppliers were able to benefit more than others: Chinese Tier-1 suppliers Canadian Solar and Hanwha SolarOne (formerly Solarfun) both gained two places in the rankings; in fact, all the suppliers in the top 10 gaining rank were Chinese.
Conversely, both the solar PV suppliers losing rank were Western, headquartered in the US. One Western supplier bucking this trend was REC, which moved quickly up the rankings to become the eleventh largest supplier of solar PV modules in 2010.
“2010 was an outstanding year for everyone in the PV industry. Module suppliers were able to benefit from the strong demand, which lasted all year, and make great increases in their shipments; five of the top ten suppliers more than doubled them, some even increased them by more than 150%,” says Sam Wilkinson, PV Market Analyst at IMS Research.
Another clear winner in 2010 was JA Solar, another large Chinese solar PV supplier, which increased its production by nearly 180%, becoming the largest producer of solar PV cells, having been only the fifth largest producer in 2009.
IMS Research predicts a slowdown in growth for the solar PV module market in 2012, as many major European markets cool following amendments to incentive schemes.