Solar Market Growth Research: Global Single-Axis Solar Tracker Use Is on the Rise

June 5, 2017- The solar power industry is starting to see a shift in applications across global markets. According to Information Handling Services (IHS), use of photovoltaic (PV) solar trackers is on the rise. In 2013, only about 11 percent of ground arrays utilized PV trackers, but the projections for 2015 for the use of this equipment are as high as 20 percent for the global solar market.

It’s not just projections suggesting solar market growth, but there is also data to back it up. Research from IHS found that 4 GW of tracker installations were mounted in 2014, which is more than 60 percent higher than the previous year.

Part of this growth may be attributed to the increasing popularity of single-axis solar trackers. These systems rotate on an axis to follow the sun as it moves throughout the day, which results in increased energy yield. This trend is expected to continue for large-scale, ground-mounted solar plants around the world because greater energy yield results in greater return on investment. In fact, IHS predicts revenues for global single-axis tracker systems will increase 120 percent by 2019, to $2 billion.

While the global market is seeing this trend on a larger scale, in particular, research suggests single-axis systems will be the preferred technology for North America by 2019. IHS also concluded that China and India are likely to be second and third in use of single-axis trackers in the next five years, with installations amounting to about 2 GW. Presently, these two nations prefer fixed-tilt trackers, but as discussed at SNEC 2015 in Shanghai, the use of single-axis solar tracking systems is on the rise in these markets.

Whether these projections are met in the coming years is yet to be seen, but the substantial increase from 2013 to 2014 suggests sun-tracking systems are on pace to grow exponentially.