Solar PV inverter market to lose $500mn by 2020
Rapidly falling costs will lead to decline of around 10% to $5.2bn, says GlobalData.
The global market for solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters will decline in value by around 10% by 2020 due to the rapidly decreasing cost of inverters, according to new research.
Consulting firm GlobalData predicts revenue will fall to $5.2bn within five years from around $5.7bn last year.
While the annual addition of solar PV systems is increasing globally every year, the falling cost of inverters continues to reduce the market size, with prices expected to decrease by 20–25% in the forecast period to reach $0.13 per Watt (W) by 2020.
A solar inverter converts direct current electricity generated from solar PV panels into alternating current to facilitate both grid connectivity and use with appliances.
Prasad Tanikella, GlobalData’s Senior Analyst covering Power, says: “The average PV inverter price was $0.48 per W in 2010, following a sharp decline of around 60% over the preceding four years. The price will continue to drop as major tariff cuts impact installations and demand for PV inverters by 2020.
“Manufacturing costs of PV inverters will also fall with improving economies of scale. The expansion plans of large manufacturers, such as SMA Solar Technology, Power-One, KACO New Energy and Refusol, will increase their supplies and saturate the market.”
The analyst adds that of the world’s top 15 solar PV inverter manufacturers, 10 are headquartered in Europe, while five are based in North America and Asia-Pacific.
Tanikella explains: “Germany-based SMA Solar Technology is the largest PV inverter manufacturer in the world, with an estimated production share of 9–11% in 2014. This is closely followed by Chinese company Sungrow, which is estimated to have held 9–10.5% of the global market in 2014.
“Swiss firm ABB was previously the second largest manufacturer after SMA Solar with a share of around 10% in 2013. However, the company accounted for a decreased share of approximately 4–5% in 2014 due to lower installations in the European region, which is its major market.”