According to a European research firm, EuPD Research, a new report just out says the U.S. solar photovoltaic market is one of the most promising for future investments and provides an attractive alternative to the saturating solar markets in Europe. (US InstallerMonitor, EuPD Research)
In the last couple of years the shear number of PV companies has increased creating new business markets and solar installation and investment niches. Since the meltdown of October 2008, the US and local California governments have implemented many solar installation incentives to fire up renewable jobs thereby pouring money into local economies. Attractive solar incentives in states like California, New Jersey, Colorado, New York and Florida possess a high potential for the expansion of solar PV.
Against this background, the “US Solar Installers Monitor” analyzes current developments in selected US state markets from the perspective of solar installers: This study focuses on the relationship between solar suppliers and purchasers, and analyzes the procurement management of solar installers across the states mentioned.
Continued strong energy demand, the accelerated push towards carbon-neutral electricity production as well as the attractive tax and other financial incentives build a strong foundation for the solar industry.
California, New Jersey and Arizona are considered particularly lucrative markets according to PV installers. EuPD Research forecasts that in 2012 these three states combined will account for 48% of the total U.S. market. However, the U.S. InstallerMonitor study also quantifies the interesting market potential for emerging states such as Texas and Florida.
Solar installers are the gate keeper in-between manufacturers or wholesalers and end customers. Assessments directly from these gate keepers provide valuable information about current and future trends in the downstream PV market. The study results show that installers in California, the main PV market, see opportunities to expand in Oregon, Nevada and Arizona due to the geographical proximity and attractive framework conditions. Especially Arizona could evolve into one of the most important markets in the coming years.
“Solar PV module and inverter manufacturers need to strengthen strategic relationships in the channel to be well positioned once supply catches up with demand,” said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Director North America at EuPD Research. “Improving the additional services offered to solar installers and the flexibility of payment agreements is also critical to succeed in the downstream solar PV market,” he added.
“Understanding procurement management of solar installers, the gate keepers, is critical in order to be successful in the U.S. market” said Christian Schossig, Associate Consultant and Solar Project Manager.
Supply chain appears to be 62% of the solar installer purchases are through third party. The detailed analysis of the distribution channels for PV products also provides unique value. Study results show that installers of solar photovoltaic modules procure 62% of their PV solar products through third parties, such as wholesalers or other distributers. However, 35% of the respondents purchase PV modules directly from the manufacturer. Especially small- and medium-sized solar installation companies get supplied from wholesaler. Large companies usually purchase directly from the module manufacturer.