Q-Cells Largest PV System Integrator in 2009

Q-Cells International was the largest PV system integrator in 2009 having gained significant market share according to a recently released study by IMS Research.

The results, which were unvieled in IMS Research’s global report “PV System Integrator Market Shares & Profiles” show that Q-Cells International was responsible for close to 150 MW of new, non-residential PV capacity in 2009, more than rivals that include juwi and Sunpower.

Unsurprisingly it also reveals that Spanish system integrators, who dominated the market in 2008, subsequently slipped down the rankings in 2009 as their domestic market evaporated.

“Despite the research identifying more than 200 active PV system integrators, none were identified as having a dominant market share in any of the segments analysed highlighting the extremely fragmented nature of the system integration business and the difficulties PV component suppliers face in identifying their largest potential customers,” said Ash Sharma, PV Group Director at IMS Research.

Although several hundred companies are now active in the non-residential market, industry consolidation in the next year appears to be a certainty, especially in the second half of 2010 following Germany’s FIT cut. Total revenues generated by new PV systems installed in Germany in 2009 reached almost $17 billion according to IMS Research’s analysis – not quite as high as the $19 billion generated by Spain the previous year.

The numbers also reveal a trend among solar manufacturers to have their hands in more than just the building and supplying of photovoltaic products, one of the reasons for Q-Cells’ rise to the top in 2009.

“A number of PV component suppliers, such as Q-Cells and First Solar, have chosen to expand their activities from just supplying cells or modules to also building turn-key PV plants. It is likely this move was provoked by the need to chase margins that had tightened following the module price collapse in 2009, and also by the need to stimulate demand by financing and developing major PV plants themselves,” Sharma said.

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