GTM: Microinverter and optimiser market to increase fivefold

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The global solar microinverter and DC optimiser market is set to increase fivefold by 2017, according to a report from analysts GTM Research.

GTM estimates shipments of so-called module-level power electronics (MLPE) equipment will surpass 5GW by 2017, up from 1.1GW in 2013.

Throughout last year more than 1GW of MPLE was installed, adding to a cumulative total of more than 2GW installed capacity in 2013.

MPLE products include DC power optimisers, used to optimise the energy harvested from PV panels, and microinverters, used to increase yield on (mainly residential) systems, by installing one inverter per panel, rather than one string inverter to an array.

The report singles out 2014 as being a landmark year for MPLE products, with the market predicted to take off and grow fivefold by 2017.

GTM calls the predicted soar in MPLE products a “second chapter” in the market, after the “first chapter”, starting four years ago. GTM has said companies are now advocating installer operational throughput, design flexibility, cost reductions in labour and electrical balance of systems.

Hitherto the market has been dominated by three major companies – Enphase Energy, SolarEdge Technologies and Tigo Energy edging in third. These three companies accounted for 88% of shipping in 2013. “A new gang of well-funded competitors are entering the space to challenge the three established firms,” said GTM research marketing manager, Mike Munsell.

MPLE products first entered the market just four years ago; they have expanded from solely catering for residential, to commercial scale.

GTM said that in the “first chapter”, MPLE market entrants advertised an increase in energy yield, improvement of system reliability, and granular monitoring – though many suffered restructuring and bankruptcy.

“The companies of four years ago would not recognise the companies of today,” said report author and consultant, Paul Grana, explaining large cost reductions and companies selling “a broader and much more compelling value proposition” had boosted the market. “The sector has grown from a small niche to shipping more than a gigawatt per year,” added Grana.

According to GTM, new companies, many private or with significant capital backing, are now stepping into the market. In distribution optimisation markets alone (accounting for 2.5% of overall PV markets), more than US$600 million had been invested at the end of 2013.

The report also cites the increase in fully integrated AC modules and smart modules are entering the market, increasing the amount of module manufacturers entering MPLE product markets. Module manufacturers will have a significant impact on the MPLE market up to 2017.

MJ Shiao, director of solar research at GTM Research, said the “untapped opportunity” for installers and investors to reduce overall PV system and operational costs by focusing on balance of system costs, microinverters and DC optimisers, will see shipments “increasing fivefold and revenues from MLPE sales more than doubling by 2017”. He predicted the US, UK, Germany, and Australia will continue to “embrace and expand” MPLE products.

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 30, 2021
Not only will solar be the dominant source of new power generation in Europe by 2025, cementing its position as the third largest market for solar globally, but the continent has placed the asset class at the very heart of its COVID-19 recovery strategy. As part of a week-long special report on PV Tech Premium, Liam Stoker, Edith Hancock and Jules Scully explore the drivers for solar in Europe, the key markets and the challenges that remain.
July 30, 2021
First Solar has unveiled plans to construct a 3.3GWdc module assembly facility in India, bolstering its manufacturing footprint outside of the US.
July 30, 2021
Anglo-Australian mining company BHP, in partnership with Canada’s TransAlta Renewables, is to build two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power its Mt Keith and Leinster nickel mines in Western Australia
July 30, 2021
German energy giant RWE has upgraded its earnings forecast for 2021 after “exceptionally positive” earnings trend
July 29, 2021
Tracker and racking provider Arctech has delivered SkySmart II tracking system to a 575MW agriculture-sharing solar project located in Nangong City, Hebei Province, China.
July 29, 2021
Unigreen Energy, owned by Hevel majority shareholder Ream Management LLC, has broken ground on a wafer and cell manufacturing plant that will produce 1.3GW of silicon n-type monocrystalline ingots and wafers as well as 1GW of heterojunction technology (HJT) solar cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021