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Q-Cells - largest solar PV system integrator In 2009

Q-Cells International was the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) system integrator in 2009, according to a study by IMS Research.

IMS Research’s global report PV System Integrator Market Shares & Profiles reveals that Q-Cells International was responsible for close to 150 MW of new, non-residential solar PV capacity in 2009, surpassing rivals such as juwi and Sunpower.

It also reveals that Spanish system integrators, who dominated the market in 2008, subsequently slipped down the rankings in 2009 as their domestic market evaporated.

Ash Sharma, PV Group Director at IMS Research says: “Despite the research identifying more than 200 active PV system integrators, none were identified as having a dominant market share in any of the segments analysed highlighting the extremely fragmented nature of the system integration business and the difficulties PV component suppliers face in identifying their largest potential customers.”

“A number of PV component suppliers, such as Q-Cells and First Solar, have chosen to expand their activities from just supplying cells or modules to also building turn-key PV plants. It is likely this move was provoked by the need to chase margins that had tightened following the module price collapse in 2009, and also by the need to stimulate demand by financing and developing major PV plants themselves,” Sharma adds.

Although several hundred companies are now active in the non-residential solar PV market, industry consolidation looks certain, especially as challenging conditions are expected in the second half of 2010 following Germany’s feed-in tariff cut.

Total revenues generated by new solar PV systems installed in Germany in 2009 reached almost US$17 billion according to IMS Research’s analysis – not quite as high as the US$19bn generated by Spain the previous year.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity