2009 Was A Record Year For Photovoltaic Inverter Market

Last year, PV inverter shipments totaled 8.3 GW and $2.8 billion, according to IMS Research's latest report on the global solar inverter market.

The report says that huge demand for PV inverters, fueled by uncertainty around several European countries' incentive schemes, led to more than 1 million inverters shipped for the first time in 2009. This 35% increase in shipments was primarily driven by Germany, which consumed over 4.2 GW of inverters and generated revenues of $1.4 billion.

‘Several European markets recorded growth above all expectations, including Germany, Italy and Czech Republic in 2009,’ says IMS Research analyst Tom Haddon. ‘These three markets combined generated close to $2 billion in 2009 and are predicted to continue to drive high growth for the PV inverter market in 2010.’

Haddon adds that ‘high demand was seen for almost every inverter type and size, with single-phase inverters contributing most to the industry's growth in 2009. However, we expect this to change in 2010.’

Strong demand is projected to characterize the PV industry in 2010, as uncertainty regarding incentives continues. IMS Research's analysis of the PV industry has produced a projected market size of 14.6 GW in 2010.

However, growth of almost 70% per year is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term, according to the company. It is forecast that in 2011 new installations will be roughly the same and, as such, PV inverter revenues will grow to around $4.5 billion.

IMS Research also found that SMA Solar Technology retained its position as the world's largest solar inverter supplier, with a market share of more than 37%. However, due to extreme shortages and supply issues, the report predicts that many inverter suppliers are in a position to both gain and lose major market share this year.

SOURCE: IMS Research

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