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German PV repowering trend to continue in 2018
The number of photovoltaic (PV) systems being repowered to increase in output and efficiency rose sharply in 2017. This trend will continue in 2018.
The development has been revealed through the trading activities on the SecondSol platform – Europe's fastest growing online marketplace for photovoltaic products and services.
Second-hand module trading at SecondSol increased by 30 percent in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year. Although the cold winter months significantly reduced activity, a general upward trend in repowering is clearly evident.
“Many wholesalers, traders and project developers use SecondSol to sell the used modules after the repowering of PV power plant," said SecondSol Managing Director Frank Fiedler. “Looking at the number of used modules traded, we can see that the repowering German PV systems is increasing significantly.
With an installation capacity of more than 42 gigawatts at the end of 2017, Germany has a large number of installed roof-mounted and ground-mounted systems. As they age, however, the performance of these systems decreases. By replacing the older modules with more powerful ones, the performance of the entire plant is significantly increased, which improves the yield for the owner and investor. This process is known as repowering
“The repowering market is still in an early stage, but it is currently at a turning point. It will continue to increase,” said Fiedler. “With more than 11,000 users and 1,000 installers, dealers and developers looking for PV products on SecondSol every day, the platform has quickly developed into the go-to place for used modules.”
SecondSol has added another offer to its online marketplace for new and used PV products. Since October, companies from the PV sector have been able to register on the site’s trade directory free of charge. The directory is a point of contact for a range of service providers and PV operators alike
In only the first two months, more than 60 companies have already listed. Signing up is free of charge for providers throughout Europe.
“The trade directory on SecondSol provides an overview of both installers and a range of service providers," says Fiedler. “Often owners and operators of residential, C&I installations or even large solar parks can find a contact person for services such as cleaning, maintenance, testing and repair services.”
The SecondSol platform is available in German, English and Italian and thus reaches Europe's largest PV markets. International visitors to the website can use the marketplace in English. In November, the site was expanded to include Dutch – reaching one of the fastest growing photovoltaic markets in Europe.