Inverter market’s 20% drop linked to Germany’s lethargy, says IMS Research

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Global inverter market woes would seem to be directly linked to the German market, according to a report released today by IMS Research. The third quarter of 2011 saw the PV inverter market fall by over 20% year-on-year, greatly affected by the 50% decline in PV revenues (on Q3 2010) seen in the usually stable market of Germany.

Despite the fact that inverter prices saw some stability in the third quarter, inverter ASPs remain around 15% lower than they were in 2010. Germany’s reduction in inverter shipments by over 1GW on the same period in 2010 was a major contributor in the 8% reduction in global shipments, according to IMS Research’s report.

“The majority of inverters are still sold in Europe where the average price per watt stabilised last quarter if measured in euros. However, companies from outside the Eurozone realizing their revenues in dollars may still have felt the price pressure as dollar prices fell by 5% compared to Q2’11 due to changes in exchange rates”, commented Tom Haddon, IMS Research’s PV market analyst. “Price pressure will continue to be a prominent feature of the market for some time and it wouldn’t be wise for PV inverter suppliers to count on prices staying at this level for long”.

The news is not all bad, however. Global inverter shipments increased for Q1 and Q2 of 2011, with the decline in revenue being brought about by a reduction in ASPs. Furthermore, the company is projecting inverter shipments to continue growing, passing the 25GW mark by the end of the year in response to new incentives in Asian markets and a last-minute rush to complete installs in Germany before the January 1 2012 cut in the FiT.

Further information on the inverter market shipment and revenue figures is available in IMS Research’s Quarterly PV Inverter Supply & Demand Report.

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