The boom in the global PV inverter market seen in 2010 looks set to be followed by a dip to below US$6 billion in 2011 – a fall of more than 10% – according to IMS Research’s recently-published report, “The World Market for PV Inverters”. Ash Sharma, IMS Research’s senior research director for PV, commented that although installations will grow by approximately 16% this year, oversupply in the inverter market will result in a fall in inverter shipments. While the figures are by no means low, 2010’s massive boost in shipments is proving a tough act to follow.
High price pressure will have a negative effect on overall industry revenues this year, says the report, with some like-for-like inverter prices experiencing a fall of between 10 and 15% so far this year. Overall inverter prices are expected to fall by around 8% by the end of the year.
Sharma, who co-authored the IMS Research report’s fourth edition, commented, “We predict that installations will grow by 16% in 2011, driven by demand in Asia and Americas; however shipments of PV inverters will in fact fall by around 5% due to the oversupply into the market towards the end of 2010. In addition, both like-for-like and average prices will fall resulting in a decline in industry revenues”.
Nevertheless, some healthy growth opportunities are available to some suppliers: “Despite a major slowdown in some European markets in 2011, we predict robust growth in many Asian countries as well as the USA which will benefit some suppliers more than others. Furthermore we’re forecasting excellent growth for large inverters used in MW-scale installations as well as small 3-phase string inverters for commercial applications [which] grew by a massive 560% in 2010… Their penetration is forecast to increase further in almost every geographic market”, predicted Sharma.
Despite this near-term gloomy forecast, the IMS report predicts a very strong long-term outlook for the industry, with revenues anticipated to exceed US$10bn by 2015.
Further information on the report is available here. Data contained in the report was gathered from more than 100 suppliers.