Third-ranked Advanced Energy’s exit leaves 17% share to fight over in US inverter market

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GTM Research has pointed out that Advanced Energy, which this week revealed that it will finally exit the inverter business, was the third highest ranking supplier in the US last year, leaving competitors to fight over the company's significant share of the market.

The analysis firm put out a note yesterday pointing out that Advanced Energy’s withdrawal from the inverter space leaves a vacuum that competitors will want to capitalise on. According to GTM, Advanced Energy shipped 17% of all inverters in the US in 2014.

GTM analyst Scott Moskowitz wrote that projecting forward to likely outcomes for 2015 and 2016, the inverter market in the US could add up to as much as a combined 11.7GWdc over the two years, leaving a significant opportunity for competitors to weigh in on the space vacated by Advanced Energy.

It is perhaps a sign of the times that the biggest seller in the US last year, SMA, has recently had to undergo restructuring, shedding some 1,000 employees. SMA took a 2014 US market share of 24%, above second-placed ABB’s 19% share.

Looking at the global picture, the inverter space is seeing ever-more competition between big players. According to research from IHS on the worldwide market in recent years, SMA had enjoyed a global market share of around 40% in 2009 for inverter supply. Mainly on the back of increased competition from Asia and a dwindling core market in Europe, this share had by 2013 shrunk to around 16%, IHS research manager Sam Wilkinson wrote in a blog for PV Tech in July last year.

GTM’s latest note builds on the firm’s February report, “The global PV inverter landscape 2015; technologies, markets and prices”. That report described a “shifting landscape” for inverters, due to factors including suppliers delivering a wider range of services before, including storage-ready inverters and the need to deliver products that can cope with more flexible infrastructure architectures than before as distributed resources grow. Additionally, in 2015, GTM wrote, demand from China, Japan and the US together will add up to 59% of all inverter sales worldwide. GTM predicted that 50.6GW of inverters will be shipped this year, in a market worth US$7.3 billion.

This story has been amended from its originally published form to remove references to an erroneous statistic.

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