Global solar tracker market size is expected to reach USD 6.83 billion by 2022. Shifting focus towards non-renewable energy sources is expected to result in significant PV and CSP demand which in turn will drive growth. Tracker allows PV panels to follow the sun’s movement and produce over 20% to 40% more electricity as compared to a stationary array. It significantly increases the turnover of large plants resulting in an augmented use of the tracking systems in utility scale installations. The market is expected to witness significant growth on account of the significantly rising PV installations across the world. PV capacity increased from 100.5 GW in 2012 to over 182.5 GW in 2014.
Favorable regulations in countries including U.S., Germany, Middle East and the UK supporting energy production through renewable sources will positively impact the market. “Feed-In Tariff” schemes are promoting the use of solar power generation are expected to drive market growth over the forecast period. However, high costs of installation and maintenance are expected to restrict solar tracker industry development.
Global solar tracker market volume by product, 2012 - 2022 (MW)
Single axis trackers were the largest segment of the market in 2014 owing to their low cost. The increasing use of single axis particularly for residential and commercial is likely to have a positive impact on the market. However, the segment is expected to lose share as major companies prefer dual axis owing to their efficiency and accuracy.
Use of single axis maximizes potential output but also come with higher CAPEX (capital expenditure) and OPEX (operating expenditure). There are several implementation methods for single axis including horizontal single axis, horizontal single axis with tilted modules, vertical single axis, tilted single axis and polar aligned single axis.
Dual axis trackers are expected to be the fastest growing product over the forecast period on account of improved efficiency. They comprise two degrees of freedom that act as an axis of rotation. The axis fixed to the ground is considered as the primary axis and the one referenced to the primary axis is called the secondary axis.
Dual axis segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5% over the forecast period to reach an installed capacity of 9,684.1 MW by 2022. In light of higher costs and land requirements, these are majorly used in developed regions of North America and Europe and will witness increased acceptability in emerging economies in the next seven years.
The photovoltaic (PV) technology was the largest segment of the market in 2014. Compatibility of PV cells with standard modules technology is a key factor responsible for its dominance within the global industry. Rising cost of electricity owing to supply-demand gap will further augment the use of solar PV in utility and non-utility applications.
CPV technology is expected to witness growth over the forecast period owing to high demand for utility-scale power generation. CPV technology accounted for over 2.0% of the global capacity in 2014.
CSP technology was the second most widely used technology within the global market. CSP installations were 1,183.5 MW in 2014 and are likely to exceed 7,200 MW by 2022, where the segment will expand at a CAGR of over 15% over the projected period. However, the segment will witness a decline in market share over the forecast period on account of lesser installations annually as a result of high installation costs.
Solar tracker usage in the utility sector was the largest in 2014. Increasing electricity cost coupled with rising demand for a renewable source for energy generation is expected to augment the use of these products in utility applications.
Trackers are not widely used in the non-utility sector on account of high cost and space constraints. Residential applicants prefer installing PV panels instead owing to lower space consumptions as well as low cost as compared to that of a tracker. In addition, these panels generate sufficient electricity for powering homes. The non-utility sector accounted for less than 15% of the global installations in 2015 and is expected to witness lowest CAGR of 14.7% from 2015 to 2022.
Asia Pacific solar tracker market is expected to witness significant gains by 2022 in light of growing awareness towards the importance of trackers. In addition, it is expected to witness high growth on account of increasing electricity demand in emerging economies of China and India. Europe and North America together accounted for dominated the global solar tracker industry on account of greater installed capacities.
North America solar tracker market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period on account of the high prevalence of supporting regulations, annual installed capacity was 1,184.0 MW in 2014 and is expected to be 7,550.4 MW by 2022, growing at a CAGR of over 16.6% from 2015 to 2022.
Incentive schemes under the Italian legislative regime coupled with highest global subsidies for RES (Renewable Energy Sources) are expected to drive demand over the forecast period. North America is expected to witness considerable growth over the forecast period, in light of growing demand from U.S. and Mexico. However, high initial investment and low cost of conventional sources of energy, such as crude oil and coal are likely to restrain demand in North America over the next seven years.
Competitive Market Share Insights
Global solar tracker market share was characterized by moderate consolidation on account of top five companies accounting for over 40% of the total installed capacity in 2014. Major companies are expected to shift manufacturing base to developing countries including China and India on account of the low cost of production and low labor costs. Key manufacturers are engaged in R&D to gain competitive advantage.
Abengoa Solar is engaged in manufacturing trackers that are employed in the company’s power stations to convert and generate maximum power through a minimum angle of incidence. In addition, the company implements trackers along with its photovoltaic cells to generate optimum energy. Other market players include AllEarth Renewables, Array Technologies, DEGERenergie, Energia Ercam, First Solar, Grupo Clavijo, Hao, Mecasolar, Mechatron, PV Powerway, SmartTrak, Soitec, SunPower, and Titan Tracker.
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