The report states that inverters will continue to account for the greatest revenue opportunity for balance-of-systems suppliers with a served addressable market of CNY 5 billion by 2017. Other forecasts state:
- More than half of the sales will be for inverters with power ratings above 250kW.
- Revenues from mounting and tracker systems are forecast to exceed CNY3 billion in 2013. Fixed tilt-angle solutions will contribute 90% of those revenues.
- Revenues from 1-axis and 2-axis trackers are forecast to increase at a 16.9% CAGR until 2017.
"Previously, the supply of balance-of-systems components to the Chinese end-market was dominated by domestic inverter and mounting component suppliers," said Steven Han, Analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. He adds that however, with revenues projected to grow to CNY25 billion (US$4 billion) by 2017, the Chinese end-market will soon offer the most lucrative opportunities for global balance-of-systems suppliers.
The strong growth scenario is being driven by the government's aggressive PV policies. PV demand from China is forecasted at the moment to exceed 7 GW in 2013, representing a 150% Y/Y growth. 57% of the market share will be held by ground-mounted PV, especially driven by large-scale commercial and utility projects in the northwest.
In the last few years, more than 100 new inverter suppliers have entered the Chinese market. This has been a huge barrier for overseas inverter manufacturers to enter the Chinese end-market. However, Han noted, "The competitive landscape is set to change, with Chinese balance-of-systems suppliers having to adapt to rapidly declining prices while addressing new and emerging threats from both domestic and overseas suppliers."
Upstream manufacturers are also looking downstream now. Crystalline wafer, cell and module manufacturers are accelerating expansion into the balance-of-systems segment to enter the downstream sector. Overseas inverter suppliers are also partnering up with local companies to gain access into the Chinese systems market amidst slowing PV demand in Europe.
"Understanding system installation types and component supply-chains across China has become essential for any balance-of-systems supplier looking for 2013 revenues," said Han. "With a project pipeline in excess of 35 GW, hundreds of PV opportunities are yet to finalize their choice of balance-of-systems suppliers."
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