NPD Solarbuzz: China’s closed downstream solar market set to open

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Foreign PV module manufacturers may not get a look-in on the closed Chinese downstream market but balance-of-system (BOS) suppliers could find the market lucrative, according to a report from NPD Solarbuzz.
The BOS market in China is set to boom on the back of more than 7GW of installations expected in 2013. The ground-mounted segment would continue to dominate PV demand in China with a market share of 57% this year. This continues to be driven by large-scale commercial and utility projects in the Northwest region, according to the market research firm.
“Previously, the supply of balance-of-systems components to the Chinese end-market was dominated by domestic inverter and mounting component suppliers,” said Steven Han, Analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “However, with revenues projected to grow to CNY25 billion by 2017, the Chinese end-market will soon offer the most lucrative opportunities for global balance-of-systems suppliers.”
The NPD Solarbuzz China Balance of Systems Market Report is forecasting a BOS market value of US$3.1 billion in 2013, while the served addressable market is expected to reach RNB5 billion by 2017. Not surprisingly the PV inverter segment is expected to provide the greatest revenue opportunity for BOS suppliers. 
Indeed, with the greater emphasis on utility-scale and commercial PV projects, PV inverter power ratings above 250kW are expected to account for more than 50% of sales. 
However, competition will remain tough as the market research firm noted that over 100 new PV inverter suppliers have emerged within the Chinese market in the last few years.  
However, outside of China, Western world specialist PV inverter firms have dominated the 250kW market and above on technical and quality grounds. 
The market research firm also expects mounting and tracker systems revenue to  exceed CNY 3 billion in 2013, while fixed tilt-angle mounting systems would collect 90% of those revenues. Revenues from one-axis and two-axis trackers are forecast to increase at a 16.9% CAGR until 2017, NPD Solarbuzz noted. 
“The competitive landscape is set to change, with Chinese balance-of-systems suppliers having to adapt to rapidly declining prices while addressing new and emerging threats from both domestic and overseas suppliers,” added Han. 
Han also noted that overseas PV inverter suppliers were already forging partnerships and supply agreements with domestic companies to gain access to China’s PV systems market. Recently SMA acquired a majority stake in a small China-based inverter firm as it attempts to compensate for softening PV demand growth in its key European markets. Other European inverter manufacturers are dealing with the same issues. 
“Understanding system installation types and component supply chains across China has become essential for any balance-of-systems supplier looking for 2013 revenues. With a project pipeline in excess of 35GW, hundreds of PV opportunities are yet to finalise their choice of balance-of-systems suppliers,” concluded Han.

18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.
20 October 2021
Utility-scale solar is evolving, shaped by higher power modules and demand for increasingly lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). Those trends are also changing project requirements elsewhere, with inverters capable of delivering high power density and power capacity in strong demand. In this webinar, FIMER will detail how its innovative high-power, multi-MPPT string inverter and modular conversion solution can both meet those demands and transform the utility-scale solar sector for the better.
20 October 2021
The race is on but we need to sprint… With global climate talks fast approaching and time running out to prevent the most disastrous impacts of climate change, now is the time to act. The Summit will explore the opportunities that emerge from taking action on climate change and provide a clear pathway forward for governments, citizens and companies. Taking place just 10 days before the G20 meeting in Rome, on 30-31 of October, and in the lead up to the critical COP26 meeting in Glasgow from 31 October–12 November, this event will be instrumental in influencing ambitious global action.
10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!

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