Global energy demand is experiencing consistent growth since last few years, registering a growth rate of 2.3% in 2017, almost double than the previous year. This surge in energy demand was primarily driven by Asian countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan.
Global energy demand is experiencing consistent growth since last few years, registering a growth rate of 2.3% in 2017, almost double than the previous year. This surge in energy demand was primarily driven by Asian countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan. The huge added demand was met by fossil fuels, followed by renewable energy sources which contributed around 25% of the added energy requirement. In the year 2017, the growth in renewable energy production was around 40% than the previous year, which accounted for 25% of the global electricity generation. This unprecedented growth is primarily driven by newly developed generation capacities specifically in the solar and wind-based generation in Asian countries such as China, India, and Japan. The falling cost of solar and wind power generation tech, ambitious climate conservation policies and the rising need for energy in such countries is driving the growth for renewable energy generation.
Since the invention of the first working solar or photovoltaic cell in 1954 by Bell laboratories, there have been significant innovations in solar technology till the date. The solar cells are highly energy efficient now and less costly compared to earlier versions. The cost of overall solar technology is getting lower and the prices are continuously falling as the production and demand increases. For instance, solar panels cost around USD 0.5 per watt in 2018 compared to USD 100 per watt in 1975. Such consistent innovations, price drops, increasing demand for clean energy have led to heavy installations of solar power systems across the world.
The solar power system comprised of multiple components such as PV cells, inverters, batteries, and panel holding equipment among others. Earlier, the solar panels were fixed, primarily used for residential and small-scale commercial applications. However, with the establishment of utility-scale commercial solar plants, to ensure high efficiency and energy output there was a requirement of solar systems which are able to collect solar energy throughout the day. Hence, the solar trackers were introduced. Since then, Solar Trackers are widely used to keeping solar panels oriented directly towards the sun as it moves through the sky. Nowadays solar trackers are becoming an essential part of solar power plants and its adoption has exponentially increased since 2010. In 2017, more than 80% of new utility-scale solar projects used solar tracking systems to optimize the performance of solar panels.
According to Adroit Market Research estimations, the market size of solar trackers will exceed USD 1.75 billion by 2025. The market will be primarily driven by accelerating demand for energy, rising environmental awareness, the falling cost of solar technology and the unremitting reduction in nonrenewable resources of fossil fuels. Further, favorable government’s initiatives in major countries will complement the growth for global solar tracker market. The consistent innovation in solar technology, rise of IoT and Artificial Intelligence will create offering new opportunities to the tracker manufacturers. The solar energy companies are focusing on centralizing the control of solar plants by using technologies such as IoT and cloud among others. Many manufacturers are strategically investing in new product development and launching the next-generation solar tracking system. For instance, in 2017, NEXTracker Inc. launched TrueCapture on of the kind intelligent and a self-adjusting solar tracker. TrueCapture through its algorithm continuously refines the solar array angel according to the weather conditions and the output response from the existing sites. TrueCapture is connected through the Flex’s IoT platform (Flex the parent company of NEXTracker Inc), which is a secure, NERC-CIP compliant, industrial-strength connected intelligence platform.
The government initiatives and regulations are playing a very critical role in the growth of renewable energy industry and eventually solar tracker market. For instance, in 2015, the United States Department of Energy in association with the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) coupled with different non-profit organizations, states and communities announced the mission of National Community Solar Partnership. The National Community Solar Partnership aims to provide access to solar energy to nearly 50% of the businesses and households across the nation. Similarly, the Indian government is implementing key initiatives to become a leading solar power contributor by 2025. The most recent one that is projected to have a large impact was in 2018 when due to International Solar Alliance between France and India. One of the aims of the alliance is to offer a subsidy to reduce the financing required for solar power projects and the required technology to facilitate more solar infrastructure by 2030 in India
There are multiple types of solar trackers, which are categorized into two primary categories; single axis, and dual axis. According to Adroit estimations, the market for single-axis trackers held the largest market share in the year 2017. The demand for dual axis trackers is expected to increase due to its ability to track in both vertical and horizontal axis. Most of the recently initiated utility solar projects are preferring dual axis solar trackers.
Amongst the application areas, Utility segment in 2017 accounted to more than 86% share in the global solar tracker market. The growing cost of electricity, the utility sector is now shifting to renewable sources such as solar are projected to increase the demand for solar trackers. Further government rules and regulation to reduce carbon emission coupled government initiatives to adapt to solar energy, utility sector is projected to widely adopt to solar trackers driving the growth of the global solar tracker market.
Asia-pacific and Africa will be leading the growth for solar tracker market in comparison with other regions. North America and Europe solar tracker market will grow at a steady rate. The Asia market will be driven by strategic and ambitious government initiatives and stringent regulations in China, India, Japan, and many other South Asian countries. China and India are expected to establish new and utility-scale solar power plants in the next few years which will further accelerate the market for solar trackers. The Indian government is targeting of 40% renewable power capacity by 2030, which is around 250 GW of solar and 100 GW of wind power. India’s energy consumption is expected to grow by 4.2% which is faster than all major economies in the world. Similarly, renewables are estimated to become the second largest source of energy overtaking gas and then oil by 2020.
India’s renewable energy landscape will be primarily dominated by solar energy due to increasing solar installations. In the year 2018, 80% of installations were large-scale utility projects, which will grow further with an average of 1 MW solar PV capacity added per hour. Such new installations will further expand the market opportunities for solar tracker vendors.
The leading players in the solar tracker market include notable vendors such as NEXTracker, Array Technologies, SunPower, Abengoa, Mecasolar, Powerway, GRUPO CLAVIJO, Hao solar, SOITEC, Smarttrak, Scorpius Trackers, Wuxi Hao Solar Technology, AllEarth Renewables, DEGERenergie, Grupo Clavijo, and Titan Tracker. The market is highly crowded, however, 90% market share is contributed by top 20 vendors only. The leading vendors are primarily investing in R&D and strategic partnerships to offer innovating products in the market. The market will be dominated by vendors which are able to provide the highest and long term reliability and cost-effectiveness through their tracking systems.