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Focus on Solar: New reports and Market Insight articles

29 August 2018 IHS Markit Technology Expert

Several new reports on the photovoltaic (PV) market have just been published by IHS Markit Technology that provide the latest updates on the global solar landscape.

In Solar EPC and O&M Provider Tracker, the report reveals the world's leading PV system integrators and includes details of their planned PV installation pipeline for the next 2-3 years. The quarterly report is the only study that can be found on the competitive environment for system integrators, and allows the integrators to benchmark themselves against their competitors and PV component suppliers to arrive at a better understanding of their potential customer base.

China's TBEA Sun Oasis was the world's top PV system integrator in 2017, retaining its No. 1 ranking from the year earlier. In contrast, Arizona's First Solar, the previous runner-up in 2016, fell out of the Top 10 completely in last year's tabulations, owing to the overall decline of the PV market in the United States.

In PV Market State Profiles - US, the new biannual report examines the 16 US states with significant, ongoing solar-related activity during the first half of 2018. Analysis is offered on each state's policy and regulatory landscape, competitive outlook, project development pipelines, economic attractiveness, and other drivers or barriers.

According to the new report, California will remain the country's largest state market for solar from 2019 to 2022, accounting for a quarter of PV demand in the United States. Demand in the state this year will rise 35%, with total PV installations amounting to 3.2 gigawatts (GW). The graph below shows California's annual PV installations from 2012 to 2017.

The 16 US states profiled in the report are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

A parallel offering to the US state reports but focusing on the international front is available from PV Country Profiles, which provides dedicated studies on the PV market in individual countries. The countries most recently featured include the Netherlands, Japan, and France.

In PV Manufacturing & Equipment Spending Tracker, the report tracks the production, capacity, and equipment spending of PV wafers, cells, and modules, while also providing a roadmap showing adoption rates of the technology. Driven by booming end-market demand and record installation volumes globally, PV manufacturers have been adding new capacity. Total spending on PV equipment rose 36% in 2017 from the year earlier, and is expected to reach $9 billion at the end of 2018.

Market Insights, complementing the reports

Aside from the new reports, several new Market Insights are available on the current state of the industry. In Europe, PV module suppliers face intense competition as the minimum import tax is likely to end at the beginning of September, after being in place for five years.

Meanwhile, IHS Markit is maintaining its 37 GW forecast for China by year-end, with no reason to lower the projection for the world's largest PV market.

For China's neighbor to the south, India, it's not clear who the winners are-and many questions also remain-on that country's policies on safeguard duties for solar PV imports. While modules and cells can enter India without any safeguard duties for the time being, importers, however, must sign a letter that obliges them to retroactively make payments if the government reinstates the duties.

And as tracked by the IHS Markit Component Price Landscape report, lead times and prices for key electronic components used in PV inverters, such as transistors, resistors, and capacitors, have been increasing since 2017. The situation is not likely to improve, as a perfect storm of strong demand coupled with constrained supply will lead to high prices and long lead times of up to 40 weeks for some components for next year.

For more information, visit the Power & Energy Technology research service at IHS Markit Technology, which includes the Solar category that tracks all the trends and trajectories of the complex PV space.

IHS Markit Technology Expert
Posted 29 August 2018

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