Megawatt-Scale Solar PV O&M Market to Reach 146GW by 2017


The PV Operations and Maintenance (O&M) market will triple in size by 2017, bringing the worldwide total to 146GW.

The PV Operations and Maintenance (O&M) market will triple in size by 2017, bringing the worldwide total to 146GW. That’s according to a new GTM Research report, “Megawatt-Scale PV Plant Operations & Maintenance: Services, Markets and Competitors 2013-2017.” Europe is currently leading, but Asia-Pacific markets will drive installations over the next four years.

“In countries where new construction activity remains high or growing, little consideration is given to O&M as a standalone business,” said report author Cedric Brehaut, Principal at SoliChamba Consulting. “The market tends to treat it as an extension of project development, EPC, or IPP activities.” Conversely, in markets where new construction activity is low or decreasing, the industry quickly turns to O&M as a steady source of income, as observed in Italy or Germany. The US is making this transition earlier than other markets, with the emergence of multiple independent O&M firms despite continued growth in new plant construction.


Cumulative Global Megawatt-Scale PV O &M Forecast, 2013-2017 (GW)

According to the report, the competitive landscape of the O&M market is country-specific, with different firms leading in each of the markets. While the US ranks sixth in terms of current megawatt-scale installations, the top three providers — First Solar, SunEdison, and SunPower — all primarily service the United States.

Beyond the fast growth of the utility-scale PV industry in North America, the O&M market is more concentrated in the US, while it appears highly fragmented in European markets such as Germany and Italy.

om competitive landscape

Global Megawatt-scale PV O&M Landscape Overview

Price and service tend to also vary across geographies, with variations as high as 100% between low-price markets like the US and high-price markets like Italy.

“Interestingly, higher prices do not necessarily mean higher service levels” commented Brehaut. “Instead, they are mostly driven by the local market value of solar energy and the intensity of competition between O&M providers.”