Solar market research

Solar PV Balance of System (BOS) Markets: Technologies, Costs and Leading Companies, 2013-2016

Given the state of the global solar PV market, much of the industry's attention has turned to BOS manufacturers to achieve the step-function reductions needed to help solar power deliver energy at or below costs of other generation resources. As a result, BOS manufacturers around the globe are being challenged to offer products at reduced prices, in addition to providing value-added benefits like professional engineering services, highly integrated components and lengthy, robust product warranties.

FIGURE: BOS Cost Breakdown 10 MW Fixed-tilt Projects in U.S., c-SI vs. CdTe



Source: GTM Research, Solvida Energy Group, Inc.

Not all companies will successfully navigate the next few years. BOS manufacturers are tasked with a difficult set of objectives in order to grow profitably and succeed in a marketplace that expects them to deliver on highly aggressive cost targets within a short period of time. Like the module manufacturer segment, the BOS industry is enduring consolidation amongst companies with complementary offerings and liquidation of other companies that cannot maintain the cost reduction curves in a profitable manner.

FIGURE: BOS Market Taxonomy


Source: GTM Research, Solvida Energy Group, Inc.

Other challenges facing the global BOS manufacturing industry include jurisdictional differences between key markets in the U.S., Germany, Italy, India, China and Australia, which result in the inability of BOS manufacturers to offer single, standardized designs for their products.

FIGURE: BOS Cost Comparison by Region, 10 MW Fixed-tilt c-Si System, 2012-2016

Source: GTM Research, Solvida Energy Group, Inc.

This 162-page report is the industry's definitive outlook on global BOS markets, BOS component innovation and the survivability of leading BOS players. The report includes market sizing for both structural and electrical BOS as well as total BOS demand forecasts by market segment (residential, non-residential, utility) and major national market (Germany, Italy, Rest of Europe, China, Japan, India, Rest of Asia and the U.S.). The report also offers BOS cost roadmaps for c-Si and CdTe, fixed-tilt and axis-tracking, and residential, commercial and utility projects.

Companies Analyzed Include: A+F GmbH • ABB • AMtec • Array Technologies • AZTEC Engineering • Bechtel • Belectric • Bentek • Black & Veatch • Blue Oak PV Products • Conergy • Cooper B-Line • Deger Energie • DPW Solar • ERCAM • Exosun • First Solar • Fluor • Gestamp Solar • HatiCon • Krinner • Marelco • Martifer • Mecasolar • MidNite Solar • Mounting Systems GmbH • National Semiconductor • Panel Claw • Phoenix Solar • Praxia Energy • PV Trackers • Quanta Renewables • Ray Tracker • SAPA Extrusion • Satcon • Schletter • Shoals • SMA • Solar BOS • SolarEdge • Solea AG • Solon • SunLink • SunPower • Swinerton, Inc. • Tigo • Titan Tracker • Tyco (TE Connectivity) • Unirac • White Construction • Zep Solar


Hear report author, Stephen Smith, talk about this research and the market conditions driving the BOS industry forward in Greentech Media's podcast below.

Take Five - PV Balance of Systems - Technologies, Costs and Leading Companies, 2013-2016 by Greentech: Take Five

Download the report's brochure for a complete Table of Contents and List of Figures as well as more in-depth information on the report's analysis.

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Report Author


Stephen Smith is a 15-year veteran of the solar industry. He founded Solvida Energy Group, Inc. – a professional services firm catering to the utility scale and large commercial markets – in January 2009.

Solvida is currently engaged in over 1.5 GW of projects worldwide and has participated in 200+ MW of utility scale projects across the globe. The Solvida team provides clients new to the industry and clients
innovating their position within the industry with consulting, design and engineering, financial modeling, and training services. Solvida played a critical role helping an EPC client win the bid to build the largest operating project in the U.S. and a module manufacturer client sell 130MW into a utility scale project.

Stephen’s seasoned expertise and passion for renewable energy contributes to an inspired and practical approach to his business. He began his career at Powerlight where – from 2000 to 2006 – he amassed
a diverse project portfolio: parking, ground and roof mounts, tracking and fixed arrays and project department revenues grew 400%, and the company’s average project size increased exponentially. He has 
successfully developed more than 50 PV/HCPV solar projects for a broad range of clients - from Fortune 500 companies to state and federal agencies; universities to utilities.

As Managing Partner of Solvida Energy Group, he continues to develop and execute high value solar solutions for a global client base.

Report Author


  • MJ Shiao
  • Director, Solar Research
  • contact

MJ Shiao is the Director of Solar Research for GTM Research and is a leading expert on PV inverters, electronics, and balance of system components. A 9-year veteran of the solar industry, MJ has experience ranging from fabrication of crystalline silicon solar cells to PV project development. Before joining GTM Research, MJ managed and designed several MWs of residential and commercial PV projects with Solar Design Associates. Prior to project management, MJ worked at the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). MJ holds a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware, where he was named a National Truman Scholar. A believer in the social benefits of solar power, MJ has researched, installed and tested rural off-grid PV in India and Thailand and formerly served on the Steering Committee of SustainUS, a non-profit engaging U.S. youth in sustainable development advocacy.

Follow MJ Shiao on Twitter@solarmj

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Please select a report license below.

Single Site License: $2,995

Enterprise License: $5,395

Enterprise licenses are for organizations with multiple research users. Enterprise license customers are permitted to share this report internally, among multiple locations of the organizations, and host the report on an Intranet and make it accessible to employees. The report may not be shared with outside entities.

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value added elements

  • Analysis of structural BOS components, technology and pricing for fixed-tilt ground-mount systems, tracking systems, and rooftop systems
  • Examination of electrical and structural BOS components, technology and pricing, as well as suppliers and key implications for innovations
  • Analysis of labor costs and miscellaneous BOS costs, including civil engineering, EPC markup and permitting costs
  • BOS demand forecasts by market segment out to 2016 globally and for major national markets
  • BOS cost forecasts by market segment, technology type, and component out to 2016
  • Over 50 profiles of the leading BOS vendors globally

contact: Justin Freedman

Phone: 617.500.6243