PV tracker system revival to boost BoS revenue growth

In its latest report, "The World Market for PV Balance of System Equipment", IMS Research has found that BoS revenues for photovoltaic equipment are expected to grow from $17 billion in 2011, to $24 billion in 2016. 2012 will see market revenues fall by five percent, however, as a result of price erosion.

Photovoltaic inverters will continue to lead the way in terms of market share in the long run: in 2011, they were said to have accounted for 40 percent of the market. However, IMS Research says that monitoring hardware, mounting structures and tracker systems will "outpace the rest of the market and capture an increasing share". Despite this, the company says that this year, inverters and mounting structure revenues will be most adversely affected.

Tracker revival

According to IMS Research, the tracker market will be revived this year, after the market "fell off a cliff" following the collapse of the Spanish market in 2008. Ash Sharma, senior research director explained that it is "facing a major resurgence as falling prices and more efficient motor control allows for a much more cost-effective system."

Specifically, the company said that tracker systems will represent the fastest growing segment, with predictions that revenues will increase by up to 30 percent until 2016. "Falling prices for these products is expected to boost penetration, particularly in high irradiation regions, such as California, South Africa and the Middle East, which are all predicted to see high growth in PV deployment over the next few years," added IMS Research in a statement released.

Cost savings

The research company goes on to say that often BoS costs can outweigh photovoltaic module costs. Consequently, it believes that customers are increasingly looking to these components to make savings, leading to price pressure being placed on the suppliers.

Nevertheless, at over 50 percent of total system costs, IMS Research believes that module costs will continue to dominate until 2016. "Intensifying competition particularly for PV combiner boxes and mounting systems, especially from Chinese suppliers means that prices are forecast to continue to decline," continued the statement. "However, price declines of BoS components will not be as severe as those experienced by module suppliers."