PV inverter market achieves record for 2011

IMS Research reports that the PV inverter market exceeded 26 GW in shipments for the first time ever thanks to surging sales in Asia and the Americas, which made up for sluggish sales in Europe.

02/08/2012


The PV inverter market achieved a new record in 2011 with shipments exceeding 26 GW for the first time according to preliminary results from IMS Research. The research firm found that inverter shipments grew by more than 10% in 2011, despite the huge inventory overhang from the year before.

IMS Research’s preliminary Q4’11 report found that inverter shipments grew by up to 15% in 2011, with more than 8 GW shipped in the last quarter of the year. The report collected sales and shipment data from more than 40 of the largest manufacturers, accounting for more than 85% of the industry, and found major regional variations. “Germany remained the largest market, but saw shipments fall by more than a quarter in 2011. This was because of the very high inventory levels in the country at the start of the year as customers sat on high stocks of string inverters. Although many of these inverters were subsequently re-exported to other markets or returned to manufacturers, underlying demand was still not high enough and saw shipment sink considerably“, commented Senior Research Director Ash Sharma.

While the German marked performed poorly in 2011, this was more than offset by other markets. China performed extremely well following the country’s introduction of its FiT and saw shipments of nearly 3 GW, while the Americas market achieved shipments of close to 4 GW. The report also found that while both Italy and the UK drove high inverter shipment growth, this was not enough to prevent the European market from falling in 2011. In total IMS Research estimates shipments grew by up to 15% globally in 2011 but revenues were flat in US Dollar terms and slightly down in Euros.

The research firm estimates that inventory levels have returned to more “normal” levels, though significant regional variations are occurring. “Inventory levels have greatly reduced in Europe, with inverters being re-exported from Germany, especially those not compliant with the new low-voltage directive requirements. However, inventory levels are understood to have increased considerably in the USA and Asia. In the USA this was caused by customers stock-piling large volumes of inverters ahead of the expiration of the 1603 program. These inverters will of course now be installed in 2012,” explained Sharma.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Water use efficiency: Diminishing water quality, escalating costs; Lowering building energy use; Power for fire pumps
Building envelope and integration; Manufacturing industrial Q&A; NFPA 99; Testing fire systems
Labs and research facilities: Q&A with the experts; Water heating systems; Smart building integration; 40 Under 40 winners
Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.