SUNTECH WAS THE LARGEST PV MODULE SUPPLIER IN 2010, growing its shipments by more than 130% over the previous year, to ship more MWs than any of its competitors. First Solar, which held the top spot in 2009, fell to second place, increasing its shipments by less than 50% although the total market more than doubled.
IMS Research's latest analysis of the global PV supply chain, based on shipment data from hundreds of suppliers, reveals that while market conditions meant that all 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 ten gaining rank were Chinese. Conversely, both the 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 PV modules in 2010.
IMS Research predicts a slowdown in growth for the PV module market in 2012, as many major European markets cool following amendments to incentive schemes. Detailed analysis of supply and demand dynamics in this market is available from IMS Research's quarterly PV cell and module report.