China and the United States will continue to drive O&M growth.
According to the newest report from GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting, Megawatt-Scale PV O&M and Asset Management: Services, Markets and Competitors 2014-2018, the global market for utility-scale PV operations and maintenance will reach 237 cumulative gigawatts through 2018, close to triple the 89 gigawatts expected by the end of 2014.
To date, the Asia-Pacific region is home to more than half of the world's O&M market, with the majority coming on-line in 2013 and 2014. Led by China, the region will only gain more market share through 2018.
In the same time period, the report forecasts the United States to be the second-largest addressable utility-scale PV O&M market, with 31 gigawatts. Growth will be front-loaded between now and 2016, as the planned drop of the federal Investment Tax Credit will result in a slowing of construction in 2017 and 2018.
However, the report notes that the O&M market remains attractive even when new construction slows. Despite new megawatt-scale PV installations dropping to pre-2009 levels, Germany's addressable O&M market will exceed 11 gigawatts by the end of 2014 as plant owners sell projects or change O&M providers.
As predicted in last year's edition of this report, acquisitions of O&M firms and portfolios were one of the big trends in the space this year. Most notably, SMA acquired Phoenix Solar's European assets, First Solar acquired skytron energy, and Solarrus acquired MaxGen Energy Services.
"O&M is a game of portfolio scale and density, so the current trend of consolidation observed in 2013 and 2014 is expected to continue and accelerate, particularly in highly fragmented markets like Germany and Italy," said report author Cedric Brehaut.
GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting expect to see an increased number of acquisitions in the O&M space over the next few years.
The Megawatt-Scale PV O&M and Asset Management report profiles 60 PV companies, providing information about O&M and asset management services and technical activities that ensure a PV plant is performing at or above owner and investor expectations, as well as market sizing and pricing data for major countries and regions. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.