Solar Farm Inspection Market

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Solar Farm Inspection Market

Introduction

While there was limited data related specifically to the solar drone inspection market, we were instead able to find adjacent information from the more broad utility drone inspection market, and triangulate this data to gain a deeper understanding of solar drone inspection market segmentation and demand for solar farm inspection drones. We've also provided key competitors and pricing information specific to solar drone inspection.

Market Segmentation & Related Demand

  • End use is segmented into inspection of conventional power and renewable power, renewable power which contains wind and solar inspection segments.
  • The types of drone segments are either multi-rotor and fixed wing.
  • Multi-rotor is most common, and expected to grow most rapidly due to being quite a bit cheaper than fixed wing drones, as well as being more readily available for use.
  • Among regional segmentation, North America is the most prominent, with the US the largest utility drone inspection market.
  • Canada is the next largest market, and Europe is also significant, with Germany the largest country in the region for utility drone inspection use.
  • The UK, France, Spain, Italy, and China are also significant markets for utility drone inspection including solar.
  • Globally the drones used for utility and solar inspection are expected to see high growth, due to the increase in complex and large systems requiring inspection.
  • However, some limitations exist for utility drone inspections due to federal regulations that have not been modernized or adjusted to allow for inspecting solar farms with drones.
  • Recently the US Federal Aviation Administration passed a regulation to allow commercial use of drones in the utility sector which is anticipated to increase demand for solar drone inspection providers.
  • There are a relatively limited amount of medium to large companies in the space, which you'll find more information about below.

Competitors & Pricing

  • Key players in the utility drones market are Cyberhawk (Scotland), Delair (France), Measure (US), PrecisionHawk (US), and HEMAV (Spain).
  • Most of these companies have dominated the market and limited competition via contracts and agreements with large utility and solar companies all over the world.
  • For example, when company Delair finished its final testing phases, they authorized distributors and operators in 70 countries.
  • In addition to key players, smaller startups are addressing technological limitations and creating adjacent innovations to improve the inspection capacity of drones.
  • For example, SolidEnergy Systems is a startup working to increase the battery capacity of utility inspection drones to allow for longer flights.
  • One source estimates drone inspection ranges between $200-$300 per hour, or about $10 acre, which for a solar farm was estimated to equate to $10 to $25/ kW-yr.
  • Drones are estimated to reduce solar inspection costs by approximately $1,254 per MW.

Research Strategy

In order to provide the required data on the solar farm drone inspection market, we examined industry reports, utility inspection reports, and other related media sources, as well as examining data from key providers of solar drone inspection services.

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Sources