SMA is ‘leading Western supplier’ to Japan with 1GW of inverters shipped

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

SMA Solar Technology is the “leading Western supplier” of inverters to Japan, according to one analyst, with over 1GW of inverters shipped.  

The European inverter manufacturer which once held as much as a 40% share of worldwide inverter sales, announced this morning that it has passed the gigawatt “milestone” of shipments to Japan, across the country’s residential, commercial and utility-scale segments.

SMA opened its Japanese subsidiary in 2011, a year ahead of the feed-in tariff’s (FiT’s) inception. Japan’s FiT, brought in in July 2012, drove the domestic PV market to being the second biggest in the world in 2013 and 2014. In common with many other developed countries including the UK and Germany however, the FiT is now being brought down quickly, leading to speculation over how the next phase into the post-FiT era will progress, having come earlier than many in the industry had originally anticipated.

Cormac Gilligan, senior analyst in the power and technology group at IHS and specialising in inverter market tracking, said that based on cumulative inverter shipments to Japan, SMA is the leading non-Asian, or even non-Japanese supplier. In addition to inverters, SMA has also marketed its communication products and energy management systems there as well as offering consultancy services.

Gilligan said that IHS was still in the process of compiling data from Q3 2015 and so could not yet give a precise ranking for the most recent period. However, he said, other European suppliers that have shipped “significant shipments to Japan” include Schneider Electric (France) and KACO (Germany), and ABB, headquartered in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, other non-domestic suppliers such as LSIS (Korea), Delta (Taiwan), Sungrow and Huawei (both China) are “active in the market”, Gilligan said.

SMA said its commercial and residential inverters have been “specially adapted” for the Japanese market – which included meeting the high standards of certification required by JET (Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories) before electrical goods can be sold in the country.

While SMA did not offer a breakdown by segment of the 1GW shipped, Cormac Gilligan at IHS said that as it can be a lengthy process to obtain JET certification at residential scale, meaning that generally, “Western suppliers have been most successful in utility-scale installations to date”. Another barrier to the domestic residential market was that Japanese customers tend to prefer local brands, with residential PV systems usually bundled and sold in kits.

This article has been amended from its original form to reflect the correct countries of origin of Schneider Electric and Delta.

28 July 2021
LONGi has launched its Hi-MO N module, the company's first bifacial module with N-type TOPCon cells, designed to deliver ultra- high value and lower LCOE to utility-scale PV power plants. This PV TechTalk Product Series webinar will provide an overview of the module’s technology and how the introduction of n-type technologies will provide efficiency and performance gains for solar project developers.
29 July 2021
This free webinar will explore the ongoing opportunities in the UK solar PV market, looking at global technology trends and how they apply to the UK. Join us for an overview of the project pipeline and forecast for deployment over the coming years. We'll be looking at the types of modules available and being used in the UK and presenting a case study on the deployment of bifacial modules in this market.
19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?

Read Next

July 27, 2021
Greek industrial group Mytilineos recorded a net profit of €77 million (US$91 million) in H1 2021, however the firm’s renewables division witnessed a drop in revenue year-on-year.
July 27, 2021
Canadian Solar has closed a BRL500 million (US$100 million) financing facility to develop a Brazilian solar portfolio claimed to be the country’s largest, while also giving it the option to hold built solar assets for longer.
July 27, 2021
Community Choice Aggregators (CCA) Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) have signed contracts for 778MW of renewable energy generation and 118.75MW of energy storage in California.
July 27, 2021
More than 140 business leaders have urged the US Congress to pass President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, telling lawmakers that the bill is “desperately needed” to renew the nation’s infrastructure
July 27, 2021
A round-up of the latest news from the US solar market, featuring Vision Solar’s commitment to hire “hundreds” of sales staff as part of a two-state expansion, Recurrent Energy’s sale of two major assets in Texas and news of 8minute Solar Energy strengthening its legal team.
July 27, 2021
Tesla reported retrofit solar installations of 85MW in Q2 2021, cementing its recovery from a worst-ever performance in the corresponding period last year.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
July 29, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021