Wellingborough, U.K. | March 23, 2015 — Global single-axis tracker revenues are expected to grow 120 percent, to reach nearly $2 in 2019, according to IHS, the leading global source of critical information and insight.
For the first time, single-axis trackers will be the preferred type of structural balance of system (BoS) ground mount in the Americas in 2015. Overall global ground-mount solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are forecast to increase an average of 7 percent per year, reaching 33 gigawatts (GW) in 2019; utility-scale installations will account for 73 percent of the total.
“The United States leads growth in the single-axis tracker market,” said Cormac Gilligan, senior analyst, solar supply chain, IHS Technology. “Chile, Mexico and other emerging markets that have high irradiation are also favoring single-axis trackers, especially as prices have fallen rapidly in recent years.”
According to the IHS “PV Balance of System Equipment – 2015” report, the global market for ground-mount structural BoS will be dominated by fixed-tilt structures, which will account for 67 percent of total installations. Single-axis tracker installations are forecast to provide just over 9GW in 2019 driven mainly by the growth of utility-scale installations.
The United States will be the largest global market for single-axis trackers in 2019, accounting for 36 percent of all global installations. China and India are forecast to rank second and third, comprising almost 2GW of single-axis tracker installations in 2019.
In the United States, Sunpower, First Solar and other leading engineering, procurement and construction companies (EPCs) — along with Nextracker, Clavijo and other pure-play suppliers — are currently promoting single-axis trackers in large utility-scale installations. “When single-axis trackers are installed in high irradiation locations, the additional energy yield means that customers can generate a higher return on investment,” Gilligan said.
While Chile and other emerging markets favor single-axis trackers, larger Asian markets, such as China and India, currently prefer fixed-tilt trackers, due to the abundance of large domestic steel manufacturers that can manufacture them cheaply. In India and other markets with low labor costs, suppliers like Tata International are installing seasonally adjusted trackers, which allow the angle of trackers to be changed seasonally by humans, rather than with motors. As these large Asian markets develop, IHS expects installations with single-axis trackers to increase rapidly, as existing suppliers develop new products and as new suppliers enter the market.