PV module industry forecast to see 18% growth in 2013

30. April 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Beetz

IHS forecasts that global photovoltaic module production will grow 18% this year, to over 37 GW; and that OEM manufacturers will increase in significance. Meanwhile, it has identified the top 10 module suppliers by production of 2012.

Yingli solar photovoltaic modules

As in its module rankings by merchant shipments China-based Yingli Green Energy tops IHS' module suppilers by production chart.

On the back of decreasing photovoltaic module inventories, IHS has forecast that module production will increase by 18% in 2013 to reach over 37 GW. This is in comparison to growth of just 8% from 2011 to 2012, or 31.6 GW; 31% from 2010 to 2011; and 104% from 2009 to 2010.

In its IHS Solar Integrated PV Market Tracker – Q1 '13, the research company further believes that the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sector will grow "at an above-average rate," as suppliers seek to reduce costs. In 2012, IHS reports, OEM shipments increased by 51%, in comparison to total shipment growth of 21%.

"By working with an experienced contract-manufacturing partner, companies can cut costs by 10 to 15 percent," commented Jon-Frederick Campos, solar financial analyst at IHS. He added, "Contract manufacturing can help to optimize the supply chain and solve many of the production problems with which PV suppliers are struggling."

PV module producers

IHS has additionally published the top ten photovoltaic module suppliers by production (see table below). As in its module rankings by merchant shipments China-based Yingli Green Energy tops the charts, with production reaching 1.95 GW in 2012. It is followed by U.S. thin film manufacturer First Solar at 1.9 GW and China’s Trina Solar at 1.7 GW.



Production (MW)


Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. Ltd



First Solar Inc.



Trina Solar Limited



Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd



Canadian Solar Inc.



JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd



Flextronics International Ltd



JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd



SunPower Corp.



Hanwha SolarOne Co. Ltd


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