L R AS Published on Monday 13 September 2021 - n° 373 - Categories:followers, evolution-stat
Followers in 2020: strong growth, rising prices, facilities spread around the world
45 GW of single axis trackers were sold in 2020. The global market grew by
40% in 2019, despite the turbulence in the supply chain linked to the pandemic (lack of components, steel, maritime transport, etc.) and the sharp rise in the cost of certain raw materials, some of which have more than doubled, according to the IHS Markit study.
The follower market in 2020
The United States is the world's largest follower market, followed by Brazil, Chile, China and Spain. The US has grown significantly ahead of the federal tax credit (ITC) cut scheduled for 2021. The European market is dominated by PVH, which has the largest share of the Spanish market. Spain accounted for the majority of European follower shipments.
The market is protected by the rapid deployment of solar but also by the additional revenue obtained from trackers. NEXTracker and Array Technologies, maintained their position as the world's No. 1 and No. 2 trackers. Several other major players - including PVH, STI Norland and Gamechange Solar - moved up the rankings, gaining market share.
The Asia-Pacific region will soon move to second place for tracker installations, thanks to the huge growth in PV installations in China and India over the next few years. This growth is driven by strong government targets for renewable energy, supported by increasingly competitive auction processes.
The geographical spread of installations will continue: tracker installations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are expected to grow steadily until 2025, thanks to the increase in solar PV installations. In contrast, installations in Latin America are expected to plateau towards the end of 2025. Modest adoption of trackers will occur in European markets such as Greece, Italy and Portugal, while significant growth is expected in South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Other growth regions will be North Africa, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and Israel.
Small suppliers continue to grow in emerging markets and are increasingly competitive in established markets. Demand is changing. Developers are increasingly demanding, such as the implementation of trackers in hilly or sloping areas, or in difficult weather conditions (wind, snow). Cost and performance will always be key requirements for PV developers. Reliability and adaptability of trackers are becoming increasingly important to developers as flat, open terrain becomes scarcer and more expensive. Innovative or adaptive manufacturers are favoured as solar technology diversifies into two-panel portrait trackers, two-row configurations, advanced control software, and stability in high winds, allowing them to gain a foothold in global markets over the next few years.
The development of artificial intelligence-based software increases energy efficiency by optimising tracker operation. This is a priority for tracker suppliers to gain a competitive advantage. Many vendors, including NEXTracker, Array Technologies, PV Hardware and Soltec, are using software to differentiate themselves from their competitors and help developers or grid operators make solar a more predictable and reliable source of energy.
Top ten tracker manufacturers in 2020
Company Ranking change
between 2019 and 2020
1 NEXTracker -
2 Array Technologies -
4 Arctech Solar -
5 STI Norland h
6 Gamechange Solar h
8 Trinatracker i
9 FTC Solar h
10 Ideematec i
Source: IHS Markit © 2021
PV Magazine of 9 September 2021
Editor's note Unfortunately we do not know the quantity sold or the turnover