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Market Insight

Sterling and Wilson takes the lead as global solar PV EPC provider

July 02, 2019

Josefin Berg Josefin Berg Research & Analysis Manager, Solar & Energy Storage, IHS Markit

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India-based Sterling and Wilson ascended to the top position in the global solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) market in 2018, as the company’s PV installations more than doubled for the year.

Sterling and Wilson’s PV installations rocketed by 127 percent last year, reaching 2.7 gigawatts (GW), up from 1.2 GW in 2017, according to the Solar EPC and O&M Provider Tracker. This allowed the Indian company to surpass China’s TBEA Xinjiang Sunoasis as the largest EPC provider globally. TBEA Xinjiang Sunoasis had occupied the market’s top spot from 2015 through 2017.

“Sterling and Wilson’s rising market share come partly as the result of the company’s continued leadership in India’s expanding photovoltaic (PV) market,” said Josefin Berg, research & analysis manager, Solar & Energy Storage, at IHS Markit. “EPC solar installations in the country rose by 39 percent last year. However, Sterling and Wilson also benefitted from large overseas projects, most notably the 1.2-gigawatt (GW) Sweihan project in Abu Dhabi—which will be the world’s largest solar plant when operating.”

Company market share rose to 3 percent in 2018, up from about 1 percent in 2017.

TBEA Xinjiang Sunoasis maintained its global market share of 2 percent in 2018 despite last year’s slowdown in the Chinese market. Overseas projects in countries like Egypt offset some of the company’s domestic market decline.

Inverter manufacturer Sungrow also demonstrated the rising prominence of its EPC business by ranking second in China and third globally with a 1 percent market share.

2018 PV Solar EPC World Market Shares

2018 Rank

Company/Category

2017 Market Share

2018 Market Share

2017-2018 Percentage-Point Change

1

Sterling and Wilson

1.3%

2.9%

1.6%

2

TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis

1.8%

1.6%

-0.2%

3

Sungrow

1.3%

1.3%

0.0%

 

Other top 30

15.8%

15.0%

-0.8%

 

Others

79.8%

79.2%

-0.6%

 

Total Market

100%

100%

 

 

Fragmentation increases

The 30 largest EPC providers in 2018 installed 19 GW of non-residential PV, representing 21 percent of the total market. This slight decline from 23 percent in 2017 demonstrates the increasing fragmentation of the EPC market on a global scale.

Non-residential PV growth presents opportunities

In 2018, the non-residential PV market outside of China expanded by a robust 34 percent, mainly as a result of growth in India, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. This has enabled established EPC providers to grow globally, but also has opened up opportunities for local entrants. Seven of the 15 largest companies outside of China—including Sterling and Wilson, Risen Energy, ACS, Acciona and BayWa—installed projects in more than one region, an indication of the growing internationalization of the EPC market.

About the IHS Markit IHS Markit Downstream PV Intelligence Service

More details on the global solar EPC business, including regional market shares, can be found in the Solar EPC and O&M Provider Tracker., which is published as part of the IHS Markit Downstream PV Intelligence Service.

Research by Market
Power & Energy Technology
Category
Solar
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