Background and challenge
A diversified industrials company with a solar division was interested in growing its solar energy offerings by expanding into new areas of the solar energy value chain. To ensure optimal decision making, the company brought in L.E.K. Consulting to provide a broad market analysis. Specifically, they wanted to better understand market segmentation, profit pools and the competitive landscape. They were also seeking assistance in identifying the best acquisition candidates for building a strong solar platform.
Approach and recommendations
We conducted an initial assessment of the overall solar energy market in the U.S., including size and growth prospects, total market opportunity across demand segments, and macro trends driving adoption of solar. The second phase of our research focused on characterizing each value chain segment in greater detail and identifying which were most positively affected by growth trends.
We developed a scoring rubric based on market fundamentals, structure and growth potential. We then held a prioritization workshop with the client to identify, using the scoring rubric, the most attractive segments for market entry. Segments were winnowed down to four that we considered the most attractive.
During the final phase of the project we detailed a market entry approach for each of the four segments. This entailed a deep dive into both technical and nontechnical solutions, including an evaluation of buying entities, spend per entity and penetration rates. Our analysis suggested a sizable market, a conclusion that was supported by interviews with more than 40 asset owners, operations and maintenance providers, and competing vendors. The research also highlighted several examples of successful market entry strategies and provided a market map identifying a number of potential acquisition targets.
The company received a comprehensive report detailing the optimal segments to pursue and how to approach each both organically and inorganically. The recommended go-to-market and action plans supported the company’s short-term initiatives. The company ultimately executed on two of the four growth segments via acquisition, which has created scale for its solar energy platform as well as a competitive advantage in the market.