In a new report, The Global PV Tracker Landscape 2016, GTM Research forecasts 12.6 gigawatts of PV trackers to be installed around the world this year, up from 5 gigawatts in 2015. By 2021, tracker installations will grow to 37.7 gigawatts and account for nearly half of all ground-mount solar systems.The report notes that ground-mount systems will continue to represent 70 percent to 75 percent of all solar installations over the next five years, and within that segment, trackers will gain share on the fixed-tilt market.
“Today’s boom in the tracker market is due, in large part, to the rapid build-out of projects in the United States,” said Scott Moskowitz, GTM Research solar analyst and lead author of the report. “The economic case for tracking systems is fully proven, and over 70 percent of U.S. ground-mount projects are now being installed with trackers. We expect falling prices to drive further growth of the tracking installations around the world.”Global tracker market growth will be temporarily subdued in 2017, however, as U.S. demand falls from its all-time high. Countries such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Jordan and Egypt are expected to experience near-term growth and help the overall market’s upward trajectory.
Tracker installation growth in 2017 will be 19 percent, compared to 83 percent annual growth from 2013 to 2016 and 21 percent annually from 2017 to 2021.By 2018, the Asia-Pacific region will be the largest regional market for trackers, as the Indian utility market grows and the Chinese market matures. According to the report, APAC growth heavily depends on falling tracker prices, improving investor sentiment and maturation of local vendors.The vendor landscape is highly concentrated, with the leading four vendors, NEXTracker, Array Technologies, First Solar and SunPower, accounting for 72 percent of global shipments in 2015. Tracking technology varies significantly, though the market is dominated by single-axis trackers. In 2015, dual-axis trackers accounted for just under 4 percent of all tracker shipments.The global value of tracker installations will top $4.9 billion in 2021, up from just under $1 billion in 2015. In terms of market value, trackers will be the largest racking segment globally by 2018.