Top 10 solar for 2012

Yingli has officially claimed top spot in the solar sector with a record year in 2012 as Chinese firms dominate the top 10. Germany, meanwhile, clings to its position as the world's biggest solar market.

There’s been a shake-up at the head of the world’s leading solar PV module suppliers as 2011 leader Suntech cedes top spot after a tumultuous year.

The Chinese-based, US-listed group has slipped to number three on the top 10 list, according to NPD SolarBuzz analysis, with another Chinese-based, US-listed firm – Yingli Green Energy – taking over at the summit. Rounding out the top three is US group First Solar, which climbed two positions to sit at number two.

Once again the list is dominated by Chinese solar companies, with the biggest lift seen from JA Solar, which climbed seven positions to fill the number eight spot. It was the only entry from outside the 2011 top ten, claiming the spot of Japan’s Kyocera.

Yingli, second in 2011, reached the pinnacle for the first time, shipping over 2.2GW, a record high for the sector, according to NPD.

There was little change to the predictions made in August, although First Solar jumped from fourth to second suggesting it had a strong end to the year with its focus on large-scale projects starting to pay dividends.

The news comes on the back of figures from NPD SolarBuzz showing Germany maintain its position as the world’s biggest market for solar PV. It mightn’t hold onto that spot for long however, with China snapping at its heels on the back of 70 per cent growth in 2012.

Last year Germany’s market share was 26 per cent, ahead of China with 16 per cent, but in the last quarter of the year China was responsible for a staggering 33 per cent of global demand.

North America (12 per cent) was third, while Australia (3 per cent) was eighth on the global demand list. As Climate Spectator reported last week, 2012 likely saw a record 1GW of solar installed in Australia.

Source: SolarBuzz

The supplier list (home country, positional change since 2011):

1. Yingli Green Energy (China, 1)
2. First Solar (United States, 2)
3. Suntech (China, -2)
4. Trina Solar (China, -1)
5. Canadian Solar (Canada, –)
6. Sharp Solar (Japan, –)
7. Jinko Solar (China, 2)
8. JA Solar (China, 7)
9. SunPower (US, -1)
10.  Hanwha SolarOne (Korea, -3)

The country list

1. Germany (26%)
2. China (16%)
3. North America (12%)
4. Italy (11%)
5. Japan (7%)
6. France (4%)
7. Greece (3%)
8. Australia (2%)
9. India (2%)
10. UK (2%)

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