They’re the Tops: Leading Solar Module Producers
According to the new Lux Research Solar Supply Tracker, in 2011 the top ten solar module producers made 12.5 GW worth of solar modules, and accounted for 44% of the year's total module production. That makes for a fairly consolidated industry. The research firm says that crystalline silicon modules made by so-called tier 1 firms were selling for the low, low price of 90 cents per watt.
Lux also points out that Japan and South Korea both have a manufacturer on the list - the two countries are motivated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and competition from China to ramp up their PV industry.
First Solar stands out in the list - not just for being the #1 producer with a 7% share of global production - but because it makes thin-film cadmium telluride modules. The CdTe photovoltaics sell for a bit less than crystalline silicon versions. First Solar's manufacturing facilities are in the U.S. as well as in Germany and Malaysia.
Here's the top ten list, then, without all the details and numbers which you can get from Lux's website (or download the PDF).
1. First Solar (HQ: US)
2. Suntech Power (HQ: China)
3. Yingli Green Energy (HQ: China)
4. Trina Solar (HQ: China)
5. Canadian Solar (HQ: Ontario)
6. Sharp (HQ: Japan)
7. Hanwha Solar One (HQ: South Korea)
8. Jinko Solar (HQ: China)
9. LDK Solar (HQ: China)
10. SolarWorld (HQ: Germany, but is world's largest PV cell producer in North America)