BOSTON, USA: First Solar and Suntech led in module manufacturing in 2011 with both having around 2 GW of module production, according to Lux Research’s latest Solar Supply Tracker. Crystalline silicon module prices continue to be at a record low with Tier 1 manufacturers selling around $0.9/W while Tier 2 and Tier 3 manufacturers sold at even lower rates to burn through their inventories and survive the current market conditions.
The top 10 companies added up to 12.5 GW of module production, a significant share at 44 percent of the 2011 total global module production. It is interesting to note that Sharp, a Japanese module manufacturer, and Hanwha, a South Korean module manufacturer, are also in the top 10. Heightened interest in both countries to increase the share of photovoltaic generated power in their energy infrastructure was triggered both by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and competition with China, which continues to support its photovoltaic industry.
Another notable Japanese company, Solar Frontier, makes copper-indium-selenide (CIS) modules and according to the Lux Research Solar Supply Tracker, has consistently ranked in the global top 25 module manufacturers since Q2 2011.
According to Fatima Toor, the Lux Research analyst who led the Solar Supply Tracker, “Expect to see a major rise in market share from Japanese and Korean suppliers, while European module manufacturers struggle with financial woes and reduced government incentives for solar in Europe.”Source: Lux Research, USA.