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First Solar and Suntech led in PV module manufacturing in 2011, with both reaching approximately 2 GW of module production, according to Lux Research's latest Solar Supply Tracker.

Crystalline silicon module prices continue to be at a record low, the report adds. Tier-one manufacturers are selling at around $0.90/W, while tier-two and tier-three manufacturers have sold product at even lower rates in order to burn through their inventories and survive the current market conditions.

The top 10 companies added up to 12.5 GW of module production - 44% of the 2011 total global module production. 

Sharp, a Japanese module manufacturer, and Hanwha, a South Korean module manufacturer, have reached the top 10. Heightened interest in both countries to increase the share of photovoltaic generated power in their energy infrastructure was triggered both by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and competition with China, which continues to support its photovoltaic industry, Lux Research explains.

Another notable Japanese company - Solar Frontier, a manufacturer of copper indium selenide modules - has consistently ranked in the global top 25 module manufacturers since the second quarter of 2011.

"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," says Fatima Toor, a research analyst at Lux Research.

First Solar ranked No. 1 in global module production, with 7% of global market share and 2,001 MW of production in 2011. Suntech Power followed, with 6.5% of global market share and 1,866 MW of production. Yingli Green Energy came in third, with 5.5% of global market share and 1,554 MW of production.

Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Sharp, Hanwha Solar One, Jinko Solar, LDK Solar and SolarWorld round out the Top 10.



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