Germany’s BELECTRIC maintained its position as the world’s largest PV system integrator in 2011, with close to 400 MW of new PV capacity developed, according to a recently released report from IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc. However, the report also revealed that Chinese integrators, buoyed by the huge boom in domestic power plants, made the biggest gains, and made up three of the top 10 PV integrators in 2011.
IMS Research’s recently released quarterly report, PV System Integrators, which tracks the activities and pipelines of more than 550 global system integrators and EPCs (engineering/procurement/construction contractors) found that BELECTRIC held on to its number one position for the second year running. It was followed closely behind by China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) which was responsible for 380 MW of new PV capacity in China in 2011. Ash Sharma, senior research director for PV at IMS Research commented, “Most European system integrators had another solid year in terms of project development, highlighted by BELECTRIC’s top ranking again. But it was really the US and Chinese companies that shone in 2011 and far outpaced the rest of the pack – not surprising given their domestic markets’ huge utility-scale deployment in 2011”.
The new report revealed that, though the biggest gains were made by Chinese integrators, good performance (in terms of project completion) was also achieved by U.S.-based companies First Solar, SunEdison and SunPower which were ranked 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively in 2011. The research also found that, though Chinese suppliers made the biggest gains in 2011 and had three of its integrators ranked in the top 10, Germany companies dominated the rest of the rankings. “Of the top 30 PV system integrators globally, 24 of these were European, showing that although Europe’ share of installations is dropping sharply, its system integrators are still able to maintain their stranglehold on the market – for now at least,” commented Sharma. “Just four German integrators appeared in our top 10 ranking for 2011; however, they made up 14 of the top 30 and managed to grow their business by more than 50% to 2.2 GW.”
Although supply of components to the PV industry has become more concentrated in recent years, the development and installation of PV systems remains incredibly fragmented, with the top 30 companies accounting for under a quarter of global non-residential PV installations. “The growing number of multi-MW, ground-mount PV projects last year did however go some way in reversing this trend; as many companies were able to climb high up the rankings on the back of just one or two projects. We expect this to continue in 2012, particularly as markets such as China, India and USA become more dominant and their preference for very large installations drives further concentration,” concluded Sharma.
Detailed analysis of more than 550 PV system integrators market share, profiles and pipelines are included in IMS Research’s quarterly PV System Integrator report.