Although the top-ranked companies might not come as a surprise to many, Lux Research’s top 10 module manufacturer rankings provides some interesting figures. The research firm’s Solar Supply Tracker has logged the top 10 module manufacturers by percentage of global module production, and sees First Solar in first place at 7% (2.001GW), Suntech in second at 6.5% (1.866GW) and Yingli Green in third at 5.5% (1.554GW).

However, it should be noted that as some of the companies listed in the top 10 ranking have yet to report actual final 2011 shipment levels, this ranking may well be subject to change.

The top 10 companies are, listed in order: First Solar, Suntech, Yingli, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Sharp, Hanwha Solar One, JinkoSolar, LDK Solar and SolarWorld.

According to the report, the top 10 companies together contributed around 44% of the global module production for 2011 – around 12.5GW of modules. Crystalline silicon module prices from tier 1 suppliers are at a record low at around US$0.9 per watt, while tier 2 and tier 3 manufacturers sold at even lower costs in order to shake off some of their high inventory levels in an attempt to remain competitive.
The report also highlighted the presence of Japanese module manufacturers Sharp and Solar Frontier and South Korean company Hanwha in the top 10 – both countries that are expected to increase their module share over the coming months.

“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,” commented Fatima Toor, analyst for Lux Research and leader of the Solar Supply Tracker study.