IMS Research: European PV inverter manufacturers dominate top 10 rankings

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A new report from IMS Research highlights that for the first time all of the top 10PV inverter suppliers were European-based, which was due to PV installations more than doubling in 2010 with the biggest growth in key European markets such as Germany and Italy. However, the top five gainers in market share in 2010 came from a mix of geographical locations, headed by Power-One, Siemens, Advanced Energy, Sungrow and Danfoss. The global PV inverter market grew 140% in 2010, according to the market research firm.

“During 2010 exceptional demand meant that component shortages blighted the industry and lead-times for many suppliers extended up to 30 weeks. Suppliers that were able to source components benefitted with Power-One being a prime example,” noted Tom Haddon, PV market analyst at IMS Research.

However, market-share gains were also said to be due to technology offerings from emerging market players. There was strong growth of small three-phase inverters in the market for units rated between 10 and 20kW, which helped suppliers such as Danfoss Solar Inverters, Refu Elektronik and Siemens gain considerable share and climb up the rankings.

According to IMS Research, strong growth is expected in the North American market in 2011, which may benefit domestic suppliers such as Satcon and Advanced Energy over European-based suppliers. Advanced Energy was the third-largest market-share gainer last year, largely due to its earlier acquisition of rival PV Powered.

“During 2010, the PV inverter market was very European centric, with over 80% of shipments destined for here. However with faster growth now forecast in non-European emerging markets such as the USA, China and India, opportunities for European-focused suppliers to gain share may be limited,” added Haddon.

According to IMS Research, the PV inverter market continues to grow but faces inventory issues and changes to the demand dynamics – not least on a geographical basis. 

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