The best way that photo voltaic corporations use and devour intelligence wants to alter, with extra correct and dependable knowledge on mission deployment wanted, particularly in mild of the lately handed Inflation Discount Act (IRA).
That’s in accordance with Joseph Triepke and Daniel Cruise, companions at vitality market analysis firm Lium, who consider that present deployment knowledge primarily based on anecdotal proof, analyst analysis, information media and commerce our bodies are inadequate to completely seize what’s occurring within the US market.
“In the event you simply depend on that for market intelligence, typically these narratives that you just see within the mainstream press truly diverge from what’s occurring within the area,” Triepke tells PV Tech Premium. “And so I feel the one solution to actually get an correct learn on what’s occurring within the area except you’re on the market driving round all these websites is utilizing among the knowledge that we’re placing along with satellites.”
Lium has offers with a few totally different satellite tv for pc corporations to trace the development of greater than 650 photo voltaic initiatives within the US. “From there we’ve to digest and ask, what does that picture imply? How has it modified from day-to-day or month-to-month? After which match it into the photo voltaic house,” says Cruise.
And whereas simply 150 of these initiatives may at present be being constructed, there’s the potential for the remaining 550 to start out any day, which might give photo voltaic stakeholders important deployment data, slightly than counting on anecdotal proof from analysts, reporters or commerce our bodies, the pair stated.
At current, Lium has “been in a position to pull up sufficient imagery and sufficient knowledge to return a full two years at trying how the house has progressed,” says Cruise, including that whereas the corporate may return additional, the final two years have been notably related US within the photo voltaic trade given latest import restrictions and their influence on the nation’s photo voltaic deployment ranges.
Extra lately, Lium’s satellite tv for pc imagery has taken on even higher significance, the pair clarify. “I feel the IRA solely serves to speed up that sense of urgency,” says Triepke, with Lium’s latest SolarSAT report stating how the IRA will “drastically change the photo voltaic panorama within the US”.
“Coinciding with this revolutionary authorities motion, we’re launching a brand new intelligence product to trace in real-time the event of each giant scale photo voltaic mission by means of satellite tv for pc imagery,” stated the report.
This is able to assist show to Lium’s shoppers, that are at present primarily traders, how busy the US market is, says Cruise. “Is that this inventory that I’m taking a look at, or the non-public fairness funding I’m taking a look at, going to be offering gear right into a market that’s busy or not busy?,” asks Cruise, “So, you will get some huge image traits.”
However the satellites additionally permit for a extra granular evaluation too that may present companies the chance to get forward of their rivals. “If I see three or 4 huge photo voltaic initiatives that turned filth in April or Might,” Cruise says, “I do know the tracker corporations that might be offering the trackers for these initiatives in July, August and September. And so, basically, I can tie on to revenues primarily based on what I’m seeing within the satellite tv for pc imagery.”
Likewise, corporations would additionally been ready to make use of Lium’s imagery to see which builders are breaking floor on what mission, data that usually will not be made public. This is able to permit enterprise to pitch their companies to builders for particular components of the mission forward of any public announcement.
“You may then begin to market your gear and your companies to this developer and, for those who’re a staffing firm, you will get staff out the place the staffing must be completed on a real-time foundation,” Cruise explains, with Triepke including that it permits customers to separate actuality from expectations.
“Plenty of instances the consensus narrative doesn’t mirror actuality in these markets,” says Triepke. “You’ll [often] have a bunch of hubbub over one factor, perhaps it’s tariffs or one thing, there’s plenty of worry mongering and everybody’s nervous about it, however nobody actually is aware of what that’s doing within the area.
“I feel this knowledge provides traders greater conviction of their trades as a result of they’ll basically see the entire market going this manner, however the knowledge on the bottom tells me that my thesis is correct.”
This mismatch was highlighted in Lium’s solarSAT report which argued that in April 2022, “deceptive surveys associated to tariffs exaggerated worry and misallocated investor capital”, which Lium stated wouldn’t have been the case with “alternatively monitoring knowledge with satellite tv for pc imagery”.
Referencing the investigation into alleged circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) by photo voltaic producers in Southeast Asia, Cruise says the trade was counting on anecdotal proof from importers relating to what was getting seized slightly than taking a look at satellite tv for pc knowledge that might present mission progress earlier than module supply.
“And the rationale that’s essential is as a result of for those who’re investor, you’re not simply involved about this one difficulty right here in a couple of months. You wish to see whether it is impacting the broader trade and if it implies that builders gained’t develop two years from now. Or is it extra close to present time period concern that they gained’t be capable to get panels subsequent month?” he asks.
Lium used its satellite tv for pc imagery from the interval to tell its traders about which corporations had been nonetheless developing initiatives, with or with out modules, and suggested them to purchase shares in those who had been. “When the large draconian estimates and the forecast had been being positioned on the market, it was a superb time to really put money into the photo voltaic house,” says Cruise.
Furthermore, satellite tv for pc imagery additionally permits Lium customers to see which initiatives have obtained their modules, enabling the consumer to get in contact with the developer and ask detailed questions in regards to the import package deal submitted, future enterprise partnerships and extra.
Cruise provides the instance of NextEra Vitality, which stated its operations had been being halted by the AD/CVD investigation however had in actual fact began extra initiatives between Might and June than it had previously two years. “And so that you weren’t in a position to see that except you look by means of what they had been saying and into the precise exercise that they had been doing on the bottom.”
Given the worth of such a service, the pair consider it’s inevitable that their satellite tv for pc strategy might be replicated however say their expertise in different fields, resembling oil and fuel, in addition to their technical experience in sure areas will make it tough to repeat. “To us it makes a lot sense, it’s acquired to be copied by others on the market,” provides Cruise, though for now at the very least he believes they’re alone within the area.
Lium might be presenting at Photo voltaic Media’s Photo voltaic & Storage Finance USA occasion on 4-5 October 2022 in New York. A registration hyperlink to the occasion will be found here.