According to a new report from GTM Research, U.S. PV Racking 2017: Landscape, Pricing and Forecasts, the value of the U.S. PV racking market surpassed $2 billion in 2016, but is in for a challenging few years ahead. We've highlighted three of the most important findings from this new report.
A temporary slowdown across the U.S. solar market, coupled with falling prices across all racking segments, means that market value will drop from a high of $2 billion in 2016 to $1.2 billion in 2018. Market growth will resume in 2019, and GTM Research estimates that the overall value will climb back to $1.6 billion by 2022.
FIGURE: U.S. Racking Market Value by Racking Type, 2015-2022E (Millions USD)
Source: U.S. PV Racking 2017
Rail-less goes gangbusters
The report tracks six different PV racking market segments, and the rail-less segment is the only one that will experience overall market growth between 2016 and 2022, despite the fact that pricing for rail-less structures will fall by 58 percent.
In that time frame, rail-less racking will grow to be used on 75 percent of residential installations. In terms of megawatts installed, the rail-less market will grow to be larger than the combined rail-based, fixed-tilt and carport markets.
A fragmented market
Overall, the market is extremely fragmented. While many racking companies have solutions covering several racking applications, the three overall U.S. racking market leaders focus primarily on utility-scale systems. However, unsurprisingly, tracker vendors dominate the U.S. racking market in terms of megawatts’ worth of mounting structures shipped.
“While the overall market is fragmented,” wrote Beryl Weinshenker, lead author of the report, “each individual segmented is highly consolidated, with just four or five firms typically controlling over 80 percent of each segment.”
The report notes that there is a long tail of small racking firms, and GTM Research expects “significant M&A activity” over the next five years.