IHS: Customers value the reliability of PV modules rather than cost
A report by IHS entitled "Photovoltaic Module Customer Survey" shows that the reliability of PV modules is the most important factor before customers buy. According to the survey, 99% of respondents believe that “component reliability” is “very important” or “important”.
According to the report, the second factor that customers value is “high quality” and “low price” is close behind. In the three major PV sectors, although component quality is considered the most important trait, US respondents value “low price”, while UK and German customers consider “high efficiency” to be the most important factor.
“Price is still a very important factor when choosing PV modules. Buyers often consider performance-related factors to be more valuable, especially in the European market,” said Stefande Hann, principal analyst at IHS Solars. “Currently, European market More and more attention is paid to the total cost of holding a photovoltaic power plant."
“As the level of subsidies continues to decline and the internal rate of return for all types of PV systems is getting lower and lower, the importance of electricity costs per hour is becoming more prominent. In such markets in the United States, the government usually supports the PV sector with subsidies or tax breaks. This shows the importance of upfront costs from the side."
According to the report, the survey population of the report is mainly PV system installers, integrators, EPC suppliers and PV module distributors.
Brand awareness
The survey also found that many customers are not brand-conscious, and less than 10% of respondents say they prefer a component supplier. However, about 20% of respondents said that if pricing is more appropriate and the system design is more convenient, some component brands may be considered in the future.
“More PV module buyers seem to be more inclined to maintain business relationships with more than one component supplier because they believe that such relationships are easier to obtain at a more competitive price and as much as possible to obtain a wider range of products.” deHaan added.
However, the report pointed out that although respondents generally expressed their reluctance to rely on individual brands, the components made in China are still their first choice. Three of the five major component brands are from China. The most popular brand is China's photovoltaic manufacturer Yingli Green Energy. However, in terms of component quality, the number one brand is SunPower Corporation of the United States.