Photo: Avinash Kaushik (CC BY 2.0)

O&M survey results

By Mate Heisz, Business Analyst

In March and April 2017, SolarPower Europe conducted a survey on solar professionals' views regarding O&M. In a nutshell, we found that O&M plays a very important role in respondents' work, yet there are concerns related to service quality. SolarPower Europe's O&M Best Practices Guidelines is considered a very useful initiative to address these concerns.



Photo: Figure 1 - How big of a role does O&M play in your work?

The survey was completed by nearly 30 professionals representing the whole value chain including industry, O&M, Asset Management, EPC, industry, finance, policy making, consulting and other fields. More than two thirds of the respondents said O&M played a major or important role in their work. 



Photo: Figure 2 - Ratings related to service quality on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best)

The responses to four service quality related questions, Figure 2, show that there are challenges in this area. On a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best), overall O&M service quality was rated at 3.1. Consistency of service quality scored only 2.3, with two out of three solar professionals saying that there are 'very large' or 'significant' discrepancies between the quality of services provided by different O&M contractors. Reasons mentioned by the respondents were increasing price pressures, lack of standardisation and minimum requirements, poorly qualified and unspecialised staff and insufficient use of digital data analytics.

The purpose of this survey was to gather information about solar PV stakeholder's views on O&M services and use the findings to improve SolarPower Europe O&M's Best Practices Guidelines. Version 2.0 of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines is scheduled to be published in December 2017.

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O&M Best Practices Guidelines launched at Intersolar