23/02/2022 – Energy / Renewables / IBC / Solar / PV / Photovoltaic / Storage / Europe
IBC SOLAR celebrates 40th anniversary and shares market insights from partner survey
One of the world's leading providers of photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage solutions, IBC SOLAR AG, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Here, the industry pioneer reflects on its milestones and shares the insights from a recent survey conducted in co-operation with its specialist installation partner network.
With roots stretching back to 1982 in the Southern German town of Bad Staffelstein, IBC SOLAR laid a cornerstone for the development of solar energy in Germany. As one of the first European suppliers of battery and PV systems, the firm has been actively involved in shaping many changes in the industry and has continuously expanded its own portfolio based on the respective market developments.
As early as 1998, the company marketed its first own-brand PV module (Megaline). Shortly thereafter, IBC SOLAR expanded its business segments and established itself as a strong partner in the distribution and project business in the early 2000s. From the very beginning, priority was placed on high quality products. In order to ensure that high standards were maintained, IBC SOLAR built its own outdoor test facility in 2007. Since 2009, the products have also been evaluated and put through their paces in a unique and now independent test laboratory.
Over time, IBC SOLAR expanded its own-brand portfolio with its first storage system (2011) and the in-house mounting system IBC AeroFix (2013) to include other important product offerings, further expanding its position as a provider of complete systems.
IBC SOLAR's recipe for success has always included close and co-operative collaboration with its specialist partners. For both sides, constant exchange and dialogue form the basis for successful implementation of projects. On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, IBC SOLAR conducted a survey among its own network of specialist partners. The results shine a light on an array of current trends and developments in the PV market. Key findings from the survey are listed below.
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 the majority of orders for PV systems (72 per cent) come from the residential segment.
PV systems implemented in the commercial segment are currently at just under 28 per cent among the surveyed partners of IBC SOLAR, yet are increasing, as this market segment also offers a very high potential according to the PV experts. Commercial and production companies increasingly recognise the high savings potential associated with PV systems. The government's increased expansion targets will also ensure strong growth in this segment, the firm said.
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 per cent of mentions), energy self-sufficiency (78 per cent) and the idea of sustainability (54 per cent). Another important point is the rapid amortisation of investments in photovoltaics and storage (32 per cent).
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 resultant profit.
Criteria when choosing a system
The survey also showed what end customers take into account when deciding for a service provider. For example, according to PV specialists and installers, the most important thing for the majority of customers is that they get everything from one source (78.1 per cent) – i.e., that they have a central contact for the complete system.
Another decision criterion for customers is high product quality (73.6 per cent). Just over a third of respondents (35.4 per cent) cited fast processing and delivery as an important requirement for customers.
Local manufacturing of the products (‘Made in Europe’ or ‘Made in Germany’) plays an important role for 27.2 per cent of customers, followed by low price (22 per cent) and high efficiency (19 per cent).
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 per cent, ‘reliability and accessibility to customers’ ranked first among the mentions. The second most important factor – at 60.5 per cent – was a modern, up-to-date and comprehensive portfolio that covers complete systems. In third place came services such as good after-sales service and good warranty conditions.
“The results of the survey confirm our corporate philosophy,” commented Patrik Danz, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) at IBC SOLAR AG. “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,” he asserted.
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 per cent).
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 per cent believe that rising costs (e.g., prime costs and installation costs) are one of the most important factors influencing the market.
Future PV application areas
In the view of the partners surveyed, new applications for photovoltaics in the future clearly lie in the area of electromobility (87.4 per cent). Such applications are followed – at a great distance – by areas such as sector coupling using hydrogen (23.5 per cent) or building-integrated photovoltaics (19.8 per cent). 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.
“The survey results clearly reflect the market developments that have been taking place in recent years,” observed Udo Möhrstedt, industry pioneer and CEO of IBC SOLAR AG. “In the early days, PV was rather costly, which meant that it was simply not affordable for many homeowners. Moreover, its potential was still underestimated. In the meantime, solar technology is becoming the future mainstream technology in the energy sector and is enjoying increasing popularity, especially in the homeowner segment,” he summarised. “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.”
Serving all with solar – from private households to solar parks
A leading wholesaler and global provider of photovoltaic and energy storage solutions and services, IBC SOLAR offers complete systems and covers the entire product range – from planning to the turnkey handover of photovoltaic systems. The product range comprises solar parks, self-consumption systems for commercial enterprises and private households, and off-grid PV systems.
As a project developer and general contractor, IBC SOLAR implements and markets major solar projects worldwide. The manufacturer-independent system house guarantees the highest quality for all projects and has thus far implemented PV systems with an output of 6GW worldwide.
IBC SOLAR works with a close network of Premium Partners and supports them with proprietary software tools for planning and designing grid-connected systems, including storage systems.
IBC SOLAR offers customised packages for energy providers, municipal utilities and providers of PV solutions. The company ensures the best possible output of solar parks through technical management and monitoring.
IBC SOLAR was founded in 1982 by Udo Möhrstedt, who has managed the company as Chairman of the Executive Board ever since. The system house is a pioneer of the energy turnaround in Germany and is especially committed to energy co-operatives with its own planned public solar parks. The company is active internationally with numerous regional companies, sales offices and partner companies spanning more than 30 countries.