PV inverter shipments to reach 52GW in 2014, says IHS

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PV inverter shipments may have dipped slightly in 2011, according to IHS PV Inverter Market Tracker report, yet shipments are expected to more than double to 52GW in 2015. Shipments of PV inverters fell to the equivalent of 23.4GW in 2011, down 1% from 23.6GW in 2010, according to the market research firm.

“The slump in 2011 inverter shipments is mainly attributed to challenging conditions in the photovoltaics markets in the key countries of Germany and the Czech Republic,” said Greg Sheppard, senior director for PV research at IHS. “Shipments in Germany declined after the industry there stalled, while shipments in the Czech Republic fell off a cliff — after the government in Prague cut tariffs to deliberately slow down an otherwise superheated expansion. Luckily, much of the loss was made up by growth in other markets.”

However, the decline in shipments was accompanied by a 15% decline in PV inverter revenue to €4.4 billion (US$6.1 billion) due to a 14% ASP decline, which turned out to higher than the 10% previously forecasted. 

The market research firm expects inverter shipments to increase 5% in 2012, equivalent to 24.5GW. This will build momentum in 2013 through to 2015 when shipments are forecasted to reach 52GW.

IHS said that its expects revenue declines will ease to just 3%, after which growth is expected to return and then climb to the 20% range by 2014 as demand from new markets begins to make an impact.

According to the market research firm, Germany’s SMA Solar Technology remained the PV inverter market’s dominant supplier in 2011, with 31% share, much lower than its days of 40% share in recent years. California-based Power-One was the second-largest brand with 12% market share, and it was also the top competitor in Italy.

The rest of the Top 10 included Kaco New Energy, Refusol GmbH and Siemens Industry Automation; as well as US firm Satcon Technology. Fronius International from Austria; Ingeteam Energy from Spain; Elettronica Santerno from Italy and Danfoss Solar from Denmark, which combined accounted for 75% of the inverter market in 2011.


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