Yingli Solar has been crowned as the top module producer for the first time as well as the top cell manufacturer in 2012, according to rankings compiled by GTM Research.
In module production, Yingli managed to oust Suntech Power, the reigning champion for the past two years, from the number one spot, pushing Suntech down to second place. The market intelligence firm notes that this is the first time Yingli has taken the top spot. In third place was First Solar, followed by Trina Solar and Canadian Solar.
In cell production, Yingli was crowned the winner with output close to 2,359MW in 2012. This was followed by JA Solar with 1,785MW, Trina Solar with 1,613MW, Suntech with 1,574MW and Motech with 1,309MW.
GTM Research notes that 11 companies featured on both top 15 lists and suggests that the integrated cell-module manufacturing model is still in favour.
The company also noted that the top 15 lists were dominated by PV producers from mainland China. There were nine Chinese firms in the top 15 ranking for cell production and 11 Chinese firms in the modules list. As GTM Research notes, this is not surprising with 63% of cells and 64% of modules manufactured in mainland China in 2012.
Looking at the industry more broadly, GTM highlights how overcapacity has continued to be an issue throughout 2012. GTM Research estimates that 2012 global cell production reached 32.7GW while global module production totalled 36.2GW, representing an overall 2% fall from 2011 production levels — the first year-on-year decline in the industry’s history according to the market intelligence firm.