China’s Yingli Solar was the world’s largest supplier of PV modules in 2013 for the second year running, with leading positions in the key Chinese, US and German markets, according to market researcher IHS.
Yingli snatched the title in 2012 from Chinese rival Suntech, and after shipping more than 3GW of modules last year the company continues to exhibit “phenomenal growth”, claims Stefan de Haan, principal analyst for PV at IHS.
Yingli claimed an 8.3% share of the global market for PV modules in 2013, up from 7.4% in 2012.
The 625MW of modules that Yingli shipped within China last year put it in front of its two closest rivals there, Trina Solar and Jinko Solar.
Yingli was also by far the largest supplier to the German market, and the second largest in the US, after domestic giant First Solar.
In Japan – the world’s second largest PV market in 2013, after China – Yingli was the ninth-largest module supplier. However, even there Yingli is ramping up its ambitions, having last week nailed down a distribution agreement with local PV dealer and installer XSOL.
Separately, Yingli today revealed that the Chinese government has awarded it a “Certificate for Contracting Foreign Engineering Projects”, which allows it to engage in large-scale PV construction overseas – including sending workers abroad to handle the work.
In spite of the price floor imposed on Chinese modules in the European market, five of the top 10 suppliers in Germany last year were Chinese – led by Yingli and Trina at numbers one and two, respectively.
SolarWorld, at number three, and Conergy, further down the list, were the only two Germany-based companies among the top 10 suppliers in that country.
IHS expects another year of “robust expansion” for the global PV industry, with total installations likely to grow once again at a double-digit clip.
Some momentum, however, is likely to be lost as growth decelerates in China and Japan.