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PV inverter specialist, Power-One has formed a global strategic partnership with electronics giant, Panasonic focused on developing and marketing energy storage system solutions.
Initially, the partnership will focus on the residential, commercial and utility-scale, grid-connected, energy storage systems business in Europe and the US.
Power-One recently reported fourth quarter 2012 results, highlighting continued demand weakness for its PV inverters in Europe and particularly in the biggest European markets of Germany and Italy.
However, market research firms have touted the potential boom in Germany of energy storage systems as the residential market switches to ‘self-consumption’ in the future, generating a new market segment in the PV systems business.
Power-One also said that the partnership with Panasonic would cover the development and marketing of energy storage systems for the Japanese non-residential segment and partner on the large-scale commercial and utility PV inverter business in Japan.
This suggests that Panasonic will continue to exclusively retain its position in supplying modules and PV systems to the Japanese residential market, a key battleground for major Japanese tier one module manufacturers and brand image.
The Japanese PV market is also seen as an important market for energy storage and is a strategy being adopted by other Japanese PV manufacturers to offer fully integrated PV and energy storage systems to offset fierce competition in the PV module supplier market.
Tamio Yoshioka, Managing Officer, Director of Energy System Business Group at Panasonic Eco Solutions said: "With the combination of Panasonic's strengths in energy management technology and related products and Power-One's breadth of expertise in power inverter technology, we are well positioned to develop the energy storage systems business around the world, as well as expanding the non-residential segment of the energy management business in Japan."
"Energy storage resources will greatly increase the adoption, use and sustainability of renewable energy systems throughout the world in homes, businesses, and in large utility plants,” added Dr. Alex Levran, President, Renewable Energy Solutions at Power-One.