Updates to this story
Suntech and JA Solar have topped the rankings for photovoltaic (PV) module shipments and PV production in the third quarter of 2010 (Q3 10), with Suntech seeing a 25 percent rise in PV module shipments against the previous quarter.
The results meant that Suntech kept its position at the top after moving to number one in the rankings in Q2 10.
IMS Research said that demand for PV module shipments remained very strong in the third quarter with shipments climbing 20 percent to reach 5.4GW.
The results show that as a consequence of the high demand, the ten largest suppliers all increased their shipments in the quarter. Notably, of the firms that moved upwards in the rankings since Q3 09 all are Chinese, with five firms based in China occupying the top seven rankings.
Though the PV module shipment rankings were unchanged against the previous quarter, a new leader emerged at the top of the cell production rankings in Q3 10. Chinese JA Solar increased its cell production by an impressive 35 percent to jump to the top of the rankings for the first time.
Previous leaders First Solar fell to third place also being leap-frogged by Suntech which moved into second place.
Q-Cells, a previous leader which lost considerable market share in 2009, managed to climb back to fourth place in the third quarter.
“Once again, records were broken throughout the PV industry in the third quarter,” commented Sam Wilkinson, a PV analyst a IMS Research. “Whilst all of the ten largest PV module suppliers recorded record module shipments in Q3’10, Chinese suppliers continued to dominate the industry and both the largest module supplier and largest cell producer were Chinese in the quarter. In fact, Chinese suppliers shipped over half of all modules in the third quarter."
The outlook for the PV industry as whole is considered to be hopeful with IMS Research forecasting that PV module shipments will reach 18.9 GW in 2010, a figure nearly twice the amount shipped in 2009. Furthermore, although growth will slow in 2011, shipments are still forecast to continue increasing at double-digit rates.