Solar inverter shipments hit 4.9GW in the second quarter of this year, a whopping 284% increase from the same period in 2009, according to a new report from IMS Research. The firm said that more than half of these shipments went to installations in Germany, which grew by 388% during the quarter, pushing total shipments up to more than 8GW for the first six months of 2010—a threefold increase over the same period last year.
The EMEA region accounted for around 90% of inverter shipments in the second quarter, growing by more than 300% over the previous year, the research company noted. The Americas market also doubled in size.
All regions recorded impressive growth, generating around €1.5 billion in revenues for inverter suppliers. The inverter shipment totals for the first half of 2010—>8GW—were similar to the numbers for all of 2009.
“Records continue to be broken in the PV market, and Q2’10 was no different,” said Ash Sharma, IMS PV research director. “The 4.9GW of inverters shipped made it the largest quarter on record and 30% higher than the previous record of 3.7GW shipped in Q4’09.”
“Shipments of 8GW in the first six months of the year appear to support IMS Research’s prediction of close to 15GW of new PV installations in 2010, with Q3 and Q4 both expected to be strong quarters for suppliers,” he added.
Although MW shipments grew 284% in Q2, revenues increased 165% because of a 30% drop in inverter prices, the firm’s study revealed. Despite extraordinarily high demand amid tight supply, inverter prices fell for the fifth consecutive quarter. Much of this decline can be attributed to a continuing shift toward larger inverters, which have an inherently lower price per watt.
With the market being affected both by extremely high demand and also production issues, IMS expects to see major changes in the market share of suppliers. It estimates that market leader SMA’s market share dropped by 5% in the second quarter, while Power-One became the biggest share gainer, increasing its slice by more than 6%.