Solar

PV integrator rankings: Europe still tops, US gaining

German firms nabbed the top two spots in IMS Research’s latest global rankings of PV system integrators, but US firms are climbing rapidly thanks to “massive” regional growth.

by James Montgomery, news editor

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World PV system integrator market rankings (for all systems >10kW) in 2010. (Source: IMS Research)


March 28, 2011 –
German firms nabbed the top two spots in IMS Research’s latest global rankings of PV system integrators, but US firms are climbing rapidly thanks to “massive” regional growth.

No surprise that German firms hold 8 of the top 15 spots among PV integrators (and 13 of the top 30), given that nation’s early and extensive support for solar installations. Belectric (née Beck Energy), which developed >300MW of systems in 2010, raced to the top of the list, edging out juwi; compatriot Q-Cells came in at No.5 after posting “close to zero MW growth” in 2010. Even with an expected softening of German PV capacity, these companies should stay atop the list.

Another key takeaway is the striking “balance” among PV integrators (excuse the pun). IMS’ survey of 300 system integrators and engineering/procurement/construction (EPC) contractors ” revealed a fragmented market,” according to PV research director Ash Sharma, with the top 30 suppliers holding only 22.1% aggregate share, down two points from 2009. Top-ranked Belectric managed to capture just 2.4% share of the estimated 13.2GW nonresidential PV market.

US-based system integrators are gaining ground, taking three of the top seven spots. The US non-residential market is poised for “massive growth” in 2011 and 2012, and will “become flooded by EPCs,” IMS says. “We’ve already identified close to 150 active US-based system integrators, plus many more European and Asian companies that are entering this promising market,” Sharma notes.

In Italy, the world’s No. 2 market, US-based SunPower and SunEdison were the biggest integrators last year, amid a clamor of many large US, German, and Spanish suppliers — surprisingly only three Italian companies showed up on the domestic rankings, IMS notes. (Italy’s hot PV solar market is poised for some big changes on the horizon).