According to the latest findings of IMS Research, more than 2.5GW of PV inverters were shipped in the third quarter of 2009, double the previous quarter and a new record level of shipments. Germany was the main destination with 1.2GW of inverters shipped to the country in the quarter, almost twice the amount that was shipped in the first half of the year.
“The third quarter of 2009 has been incredibly strong for the PV inverter market and we expect this to continue until the end of the year,” commented Sam Wilkinson, one of IMS Research’s PV research analysts. “The rapid module price declines in the first half of the year, coupled with better financing conditions has led to a surge of investors returning to PV, desperate to get systems connected in Germany before the feed-in tariff reduction on Dec 31.”
Prices of PV inverters have fallen around 10%, according to IMS Research , compared to a year ago, considerably less than module prices, which could end the year between 25 and 35% down.
After record results last week, it was not surprising that the market research firm noted that SMA Solar Technology gained market share (+40%), shipping over 1GW of inverters in Q309. This is up several percentage points in just a couple of quarters.
Demand is anticipated to remain strong in the fourth quarter but is limited by the availability of inverters and other components with most suppliers now unable to deliver products until the first quarter of 2010.
The very strong deamnd coming from the German market may force the research firm to revise its previous forecast for inverter shipments in 2009, despite the collapse of the Spanish market.