As the construction of large-scale solar PV installations in Europe becomes much less frequent, the continents solar companies have been able to draw from the experience they gathered in previous years to remain a global force in PV installations.
Wiki-Solar released the figures using data from about 50% of projects, as some companies particularly Chinese do not publish details of their EPC contractors. Therefore, this data does not present the full picture, but gives an idea of some of the global trends, although Chinese companies would be likely to feature more prominently if all of the data was available.
The big plus point on the list came for the stuttering European market, as even though the rate of PV capacity installation in Europe decreased dramatically, the continent had 16 of the top 30 utility-scale EPC contractors. In total, the European EPC contractors accounted for 5,938 capacity MWAC, with German company Juwi Solar highest on the list at number two. The United States had seven firms on the list, with a total capacity of 5,894 MWAC, predominantly propped up by First Solar who accounted for 3,217 MWAC.
The leading European contractors have taken the experience they acquired when their home markets were booming, and are now active in emerging markets around the world, said Wiki-Solar founder, Philip Wolfe. Some of the prominent North American contractors are doing the same, though others have stuck mainly to their home market.
This data is encouraging for the European companies, who are facing uncertain times in their home countries. During SolarPower Europes Solar Market Workshop in Brussels last month the general feeling was that GW-scale PV plants are unlikely to be developed in Europe in the near future.
However, during that workshop, emerging PV markets were highlighted as the places where European solar project developers could expand in the near term. The data released by Wiki-Solar backs up that assumption, as we see European EPC contractors maintaining a large presence in the market.
As India pushes for a dramatic increase in PV capacity, we are also likely to see more Indian contractors enter the list the next time that it is released, as mentioned by Wolfe.
Full table below:
First Solar [US]
Juwi Solar [DE]
Swinerton Renewable Energy [US]
SunEdison [US] (part of: MEMC)
SunPower Corporation [US] (inc. Sunray Renewable)
Activ Solar [AT]
< span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#262626;mso-ansi-language: EN-US;mso-fareast-language:DE">TBEA SunOasis [CN] (part of: TBEA)
Q-Cells [DE] (now: Hanwha Q.Cells)