Global Market for Photovoltaic Balance of System Components

Published - Nov 2006| Analyst - Michael Kujawa| Code - EGY040A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for aggregate world BOS revenues was worth more than $1.3 billion in 2005. By the end of the 2006 this figure should reach $1.8 billion and at an average annual growth rate of 21.5% will cross $4.8 billion by 2011.
  • On-grid BOS revenues are not only the largest share of the market but also the fastest growing. This market will be worth $1.1 billion in 2006 and grow at an AAGR of 26.0% to reach $3.6 billion in 2011.
  • Off-grid BOS were worth $432.6 million in 2005 and $708.5 million by the end of 2006. It should grow at an AAGR of 12.4% to reach more than $1.2 billion in 2011.


The world market for photovoltaic power generation systems has been steadily growing at a rate often exceeding 30% per year. One of the reasons for such strong market growth is that PV systems can function reliably without fuel consumption anywhere there is light. They are solid-state power generators, with no moving parts, and thus exhibit high reliability.

Another reason is the flexibility of PV systems. They can be configured for varying capacity, ranging from watts to megawatts, using modular approaches involving PV panels and BOS components.

Photovoltaics by themselves produce only electricity, which must often be conditioned for each application. The large variety of applications found for photovoltaics has engendered the development of a number of industries that provide the balance of systems (BOS) components for PV installations.

These components include inverters, controllers, chargers, cutoffs, batteries, trackers and others, often all offered together as systems. Steady expansion among recognized niche markets for photovoltaics brings with it rising market pull for BOS components. They are essential support elements for the PV market, and with it have also become a multi-billion dollar segment.

This study examines BOS technologies, the performance requirements and uses, the regulations, standards and codes that impact their uses and configurations, and the business environments for the various BOS components and the PV industry as a whole.

Five-year forecasts are provided for each type of BOS components in each of the application areas. The forecasts are presented in terms of units, capacities, and projected OEM revenues, as well as breakdowns on geographic, regional, national, and state or provincial bases, as appropriate. Although attention is focused on grid-connected systems because these represent 85% of the world PV market, quantitative and qualitative discussions are also provided to illustrate the market existing and future market potential for a number of significant off-grid PV niche markets.


This report contains:

  • Examinations of the markets for BOS components from the standpoint of various world market segments for photovoltaic (PV) installations
  • BOS PV markets that have either revealed themselves as sustainable with high growth potential or are just emerging, also with high growth potential
  • A discussion fo the various technological developments and trends over the past several years, including predictions and projections for upcoming technologies
  • Five-year global forecasts with projected data to 2011
  • Detailed company profiles and a patent analysis.


The approach taken in this study was to identify and analyze a series of established and early high growth markets for PV systems and to quantify and forecast the quantities and values of shipments of the associated balance of system (BOS) components. Markets were broken down into geographic segments where an acceptable level of accuracy could be maintained.

Information was gathered from existing BCC Research databases, publicly available market statistics in both printed and electronic formats, and interviews of component manufacturers, government researchers, system integrators, end users, green fund managers, investment groups, and technicians.

Metrics were developed to assess progress in the diverse markets that are being served by PV systems. Market growth was forecast after detailed consideration of the sustainability of the individual market segments. Attention was given to various government subsidy programs, utility buydowns, green power initiatives, feed-in tariffs, investment practices, regulations, production capacities, raw material availability, price impacts, technology trends, international treaties, regulations, certification programs, and political support systems.


The material that forms the basis for this report came from a variety of primary and secondary sources.
Telephone interviews and site visits were carried out with a number of manufacturers of the various types of equipment, including photovoltaic (PV) cell and module manufacturers, packaged PV-powered applications companies, entrepreneurs and PV system installers. Additional interviews were carried out with officials of international funding agencies, government research laboratories, green fund managers, installers, inventors, and government regulators. Discussions were held with company officials and engineers involved in marketing, designing, and supporting the balance of system components discussed in this report.

Secondary sources examined included Internet search engines, manufacturer web sites, vendor literature and trade publications. Statistical data was gathered from annual reports, various national and international energy agencies, books, conference proceedings, renewable industry trade publications, and BCC databases.


Michael Kujawa is a market research analyst and renewable energy consultant. He has authored reports on markets for large wind turbines, geothermal power plants, biogas-fueled generation capacity, U.S. power markets during deregulation, cogeneration equipment, fuel cells, small hydro, ocean energy conversion equipment, photovoltaics and building automation systems. He has a background in renewable energy project development, aerospace technologies, marine operations simulation and offshore wind farm permitting.


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