The results of a survey that IBC SOLAR conducted in cooperation with its specialist partner network at the beginning of 2022 provide insight into current trends and market developments.
The evaluation shows what homeowners and commercial customers in Germany place the most value on when purchasing PV and storage systems today, and what is most important to installers when they work with suppliers.
Findings from the specialist partner survey
Market distribution: IBC SOLAR’s partners are very well represented in both the residential and commercial sectors. The responses of the more than 100 PV specialists and installation companies in Germany surveyed clearly show that most orders for PV systems, 72 percent, come from the residential segment. PV systems implemented in the commercial segment are currently at just under 28 percent among the surveyed partners of IBC SOLAR, but are increasing because this market segment also offers a very high potential according to the opinion of the PV experts.
Commercial and production companies are increasingly recognizing the high savings potential associated with PV systems. In addition, the government’s increased expansion targets will also ensure robust growth in this segment.
Reasons for purchase: according to the experience of the specialist partners, the most important reasons for purchasing a PV system today include independence from rising electricity costs (96 percent of mentions), energy self-sufficiency (78 percent) and the idea of sustainability (54 percent).
Another key point is the rapid routine decline in the value of investments in photovoltaics and storage (32 percent). If these results are compared directly with the reasons for investment during the early days of PV, a clear change can be seen. In the beginning, people invested in solar energy especially because of the feed-in tariff and the resulting profit.
Criteria when choosing a system: the survey also showed what end customers consider when deciding on a service provider. For example, according to PV specialists and installers, the most important thing for most customers is that they get everything from one source (78.1 percent), i.e., that they have a central contact for the complete system. Another decision criterion for customers is high product quality (73.6 percent). Just over a third of respondents (35.4 percent) cited fast processing and delivery as important requirements for customers. Local manufacturing of the products (“Made in Europe/Made in Germany”) plays an important role for 27.2 percent of customers, followed by low price (22 percent) and high efficiency (19 percent).
Factors for choosing a supplier: the most important criteria for specialist partners to work with companies like IBC SOLAR completes the overall picture. At 90.8 percent, reliability and accessibility to customers ranked first among the mentions. The second most important factor, at 60.5 percent, is a modern, up-to-date and comprehensive portfolio that covers complete systems. In third place are services such as good after-sales service and good warranty conditions.
“The results of the survey confirm our corporate philosophy. As a solution provider, we provide high-quality and suitable products from a single source. Proximity to our specialist partners is very important to us. At the same time, we are constantly developing our portfolio.
“The quality of our products and the dialogue within our network of specialist partners will continue to be firmly anchored in our corporate culture in the future. Through this customer and market proximity, we see ourselves optimally positioned for the upcoming market development in the coming years,” said Patrik Danz, chief sales officer (CSO) of IBC SOLAR AG.
Market trends: When asked about the trends and changes that have significantly influenced the industry in recent years, three out of four professional partners cited increased legal complexity and increasing requirements (76.1 percent). At the same time, two-thirds of PV experts observe an increasing awareness of customers for photovoltaics in the context of renewable energies as well as an overall growing reputation of PV. Just under 59 percent believe that rising costs (e.g., prime costs and installation costs) are one of the most key factors influencing the market.
Future, additional areas of application for photovoltaics: In view of the partners surveyed, these clearly lie in electromobility (87.4 percent). These are followed at a great distance by application areas such as sector coupling using hydrogen (23.5 percent) or building-integrated photovoltaics (19.8 percent). The list of conceivable areas of application is long, so no clear third place can be identified. Here, blockchain and peer-to-peer applications as well as topics such as sector coupling in industry and commerce were frequently mentioned.
“With solar energy, everyone has the opportunity to be a direct influencer of the energy transition – which is unique. At the same time, the PV industry is extremely dynamic and is moving at a rapid pace and so we can be very excited about the next few years.”