Global market revenue for solar photovoltaic inverters will drop by 9% this year due to rapid price declines for commercial- and utility-scale inverters and intense cost pressure in mature markets such as Germany and Italy, according to data from IHS Inc.
Although worldwide solar inverter unit shipments will rise by 7% this year, projections now show that market revenue this year will fall. Revenue is set to decline to $6.4 billion, down from $7.1 billion in 2012, IHS says. The market research firm's previous forecast issued in July predicted a 5% decline in revenue this year.
Average inverter prices now are set to decrease to $0.18/W this year, down from $0.22/W in 2012, according to the report. As total PV system prices continue to decrease, all parts of the supply chain, including inverter suppliers, are under increasing pressure to reduce prices, IHS says.
‘During the past few years, solar module makers have endured much more price pressure than the inverter suppliers have,’ says Cormac Gilligan, senior PV market analyst at IHS. ‘However, module prices now have reached an inflection point and have begun to rise. This is having major ramifications for inverter suppliers, with price pressure having shifted to their segment of the business.’
According to IHS, one catalyst for the intense inverter price pressure is declining demand in some of the larger solar markets such as Germany and Italy, where subsidies have been rapidly reduced or removed completely. Combined inverter shipments to these two markets will fall by more than half this year, dropping to 5.7 GW, down from 11.5 GW in 2012.