Despite inverter shortages, IMS Research raises 2010 solar market to 14.6GW

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Despite only a small improvement in solar inverter component supply expected in the second-half of the year, IMS Research has raised its forecast for global photovoltaics system installations. The market research firm expects installs to reach 14.6 GW, a 95% increase from 2009 and nearly three times size of the market back in 2008. Increased demand from Germany and other European countries is fuelling demand but growth in other regions such as the U.S. is playing a part, IMS Research said.

“Basing our forecast on inverter production is incredibly important this year as it’s well documented that inverter supply is limiting the PV market to a massive extent,” noted Ash Sharma, PV Research Director at IMS Research. “Although demand may be higher than this 14.6GW, if customers are not able to secure inverters then installations will not be completed.”

According to the market research firm, the top three markets in 2010 will be Germany, Italy and Czech Republic, which are predicted to install a combined 9.8GW of new PV capacity. Germany is expected to account for some 47% of new capacity, IMS Research said.

However, emerging markets in Asia and North America will gain share over Europe, leading to a slight share fall for EMEA countries to 78% of the market.

With acute shortages in top-brand inverters, IMS Research noted that double ordering is taking place.

“It’s possible we may see a large number of orders cancelled in 2H’10 or excess inventory in the supply chain,” noted Sharma.

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