Solar Tracker Market to Reach US$ 64.60 Billion by 2030

The global solar tracker market was valued at USD 22.72 billion in 2021 and it is expected to reach around USD 64.60 billion by 2030, expanding growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6% from 2022 to 2030.

According to Vision Research Report, the global solar tracker market size was USD 22.72 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 64.60 billion by 2030 and register a revenue CAGR of 15.6% during the forecast period, 2022-2030.


Report Highlights
  • The dual axis segment accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 50.0% in 2021 and is projected to expand at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) was the largest technology segment in 2021 and accounted for a revenue share of over 85.5%.

  • In terms of revenue, utility was the largest application segment in 2021 with over 80.4% share.

  • North America accounted for the largest revenue share of over 26% in 2021 and this trend is expected to continue till 2030.

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Solar tracking is the process of generating power from sunlight. A solar tracker is the device that directs solar panels, mirrors of heliostat, and Fresnel reflectors toward the sun. These solar trackers are used to capture the maximum solar energy throughout the day and increase solar panel output and efficiency. The global solar market is driven by increasing energy demand worldwide. Solar trackers can increase the output of solar panels by 25 to 35% compared to modules at fixed angle.

Rising concerns over energy conservation and transition from non-renewable energy to renewable energy are expected to surge the demand for solar energy and eventually solar trackers over the forecast period at the global level. Solar tracker utilizes various electrical components including actuators, motors, and sensors to orient the solar cell for concentrating the sunlight in order to maximize the energy captured. The captured solar radiations are further converted into electricity, which is utilized by various end-user segments. The rising use of solar power as a potential source of commercial energy generation has gained popularity due to the decreasing solar PV panel cost, which is excepted to further augment market growth.

Solar PV technology has been one of the fastest-growing renewable sources of energy over the past few years in the U.S. Increasing government focus on renewable energy has resulted in the development of PV cells as a sustainable and continuous source of energy generation. Rising capacity expansions across the U.S. has led to a decline in the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). This has made solar PV competitive with other conventional forms of energy in the country. Supporting policies by the U.S. government are responsible for the high implementation of solar energy in the country.

Technological innovations aimed at the development of new methods in tracking systems by companies such as NEXTracker, Array Technologies, AllEarth Renewables, and Solaria are expected to fuel the market growth during the forecast period. The market is price competitive so the solar tracker manufacturers have to be operationally efficient and extremely strategic to be successful.

The market in Europe is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period owing to the recent increase in the feed-in tariff (FIT) rates, especially in Germany. The presence of other government subsidies in the region is likely to have a positive impact on the European market over the next ten years. During the FIT boom in Europe, numerous projects employed dual-axis trackers with poor reliability, which led to high O&M costs.

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Market Dynamics

Drivers

The energy industry is witnessing growing demand for renewable energy sources, such as solar panel, for power generation to reduce the energy generation from fossil fuels, to decrease the emission level, have positive impact on the environment. The increasing demand for solar energy drives the growth of the solar tracker market. Further, the increase in consumer adoption for solar panel for residential purpose will propel the demand for solar tracker to improve the electricity conversion rate. Moreover, government initiatives, such as feed in tariff, in countries like Japan are also increasing the demand for solar panels, which directly drives the market for solar trackers.

Restraints

Solar tracker is additionally installed with the solar panel system, which includes more equipment, moving parts and gears. The tracker-embedded system requires regular maintenance and repair or replacement of broken parts. Also, if the solar tracker system breaks down when the solar panels are at an extreme angle, the substantial loss of production can be observed until system is fixed again. Further, a solar tracker is prone to damage in storm or other adverse weather conditions.

Key Market Trends

Single Axis Solar Trackers to Dominate the Market
  • A solar tracker enhances the production capacity of the solar panel system by aligning the solar panel along with the direction of sunlight. The solar tracker alters the alignment of the photovoltaic (PV) panel in such a way that the sunlight falls perpendicularly on the panel and giving maximum power output. However, they are less effective when they move farther toward the northern regions because the variance of the solar angle is higher between the summer and winter seasons in locations far from the equator.

  • Nextracker Inc., which is contributing one-third of the tracker market, is solely working on the single-axis solar trackers, and it emerged as the leading player in 2019.

  • In April 2019, PV hardware Solutions S.L.U., a significant player in the solar tracker market, was selected as the supplier for their single-axis solar tracker for more than 30 PV plants generating more than 3 GW of power.

  • The single-axis solar tracker is 50% costly than a fixed PV panel setup but provides an extra 25%-35% surge in capacity. Its simple design offers the highest density of PV panel placement per square and has a shorter payback time.

  • Currently, horizontal single-axis trackers (HSAT) are the leading choice among trackers since they can deliver 20-30% more energy without the added cost and complexities of dual-axis tracking systems. In addition, the decline in single-axis tracking system cost is increasing the popularity of SATs, which in turn, hindering the growth of the dual-axis trackers market.

Type Insights

The dual axis segment accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 50.0% in 2021 and is projected to expand at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Dual axis trackers allow maximum absorption of the sun's rays on account of their ability to follow the sun both horizontally and vertically. Dual axis trackers help in generating 8% to 10% more energy than single axis trackers. Higher land requirements, complex technology, and high maintenance requirements for motors and control systems result in high O&M expenditure for dual-axis trackers. This factor acts as a major restraint for the wider adoption of dual-axis trackers.

Single axis systems track the sun's rays along a single axis allowing them to increase system performance by 20% or more over fixed solar PV cells in areas of high isolation. Single axis solar trackers take up more land as compared to fixed solar panels as their movement can create shadows, which can affect the efficiency of neighboring panels. The use of single axis trackers maximizes potential output and they come with higher capex (capital expenditure) and opex (operating expenditure).

Technology Insights

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) was the largest technology segment in 2021 and accounted for a revenue share of over 85.5%. The compatibility of PV cells with standard photovoltaic module technologies is the major reason behind the largest share of PV technology. The rising cost of electricity owing to the supply-demand gap will further augment the use of solar PV in utility and non-utility applications.

The use of solar trackers on PV modules requires less design regulations when compared to mirrors, lenses, and Fresnel collectors on the CSP and CPV technology trackers. These features will fuel the growth of solar trackers in PV technology over the forecast period. CPV is an emerging technology in the solar industry. CPV system produces low-cost solar power owing to low manufacturing costs and fewer raw material requirements. This technology uses optics such as lenses to concentrate a large amount of sunlight on a small surface of PV materials to generate electricity.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is used to harness the sun's energy potential and has the capacity to provide consumers globally with reliable renewable energy even in the absence of the sun's rays. Over the past few years, CSP has been increasingly competing with the less expensive PV solar power and concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), which is also a fast-growing technology.

Application Insights

In terms of revenue, utility was the largest application segment in 2021 with over 80.4% share. Increasing electricity cost, coupled with the rising demand for renewable sources for energy generation, is expected to augment the use of solar trackers in utility applications. This trend is projected to continue during the forecast period. The most widely used solar tracker in the utility sector is the single axis tracking system as utility solar installations are ground mounted, and single axis trackers can be used to follow the sun throughout daylight hours. Trackers are being used on a large scale in utility applications in light of the increasing government subsidies, coupled with feed-in tariff schemes, particularly in the North American and European regions.

The prevalence of various government subsidies in North America and Europe will augment the use of solar panels in non-utility applications over the forecast period. One of the major factors affecting the application of trackers in non-utility projects is the high cost associated with them. Implementing solar trackers can be extremely costly, but it consequently helps in generating 25%-30% more solar power as compared to a fixed solar panel.

However, high cost and land constraints make it infeasible in most cases for the use of solar trackers in commercial and residential applications. The non-utility sector includes both commercial and residential solar power installations. Non-utility applications hold a smaller market share as compared to utility applications on account of the infeasibility of applying trackers due to land constraints.

Regional Insights

North America accounted for the largest revenue share of over 26% in 2021 and this trend is expected to continue till 2030. The growth is primarily attributed to the rising emphasis on renewable energy and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that has recommended the usage of renewable energy in the nation's energy supply. The government in the U.S. is also targeting to increase the usage of solar power in the economy through various initiatives. In the year 2011, DOE (U.S. Department of Energy) launched the SunShot Initiative with an aim to make the solar industry cost-competitive with conventional energy sources by reducing charges to less than 1 USD/watt by 2020. The initiative has sponsored more than 350 projects, which include companies, private universities, and national laboratories.

The Middle East and Africa is anticipated to witness the highest growth during the forecast period. The region is expected to witness significant growth over the next ten years on account of high solar potential and an increase in investments in solar projects in the region, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Among these, Saudi Arabia held the largest share in the Middle East and Africa in 2021 owing to large investments being made by both domestic and foreign parties. The country also witnessed significant growth in light of investments being made by U.S. solar companies due to the country's favorable climatic conditions.

Key Players
  • Abengoa Solar S.A.

  • AllEarth Renewables

  • Array Technologies Inc.

  • DEGERenergie GmbH & Co. KG

  • Nclave

  • Powerway Renewable Energy Co. Ltd.

  • Soltec Tracker

  • SunPower Corporation

  • Titan Tracker

  • Trina Solar Limited

Market Segments

By Product
  • Single Axis

  • Dual Axis

By Technology
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

  • Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)

  • Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV)

By Type
  • Active Solar Tracker

  • Passive Solar Tracker

By Application
  • Utility

  • Residential

  • Commercial & Industrial

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