According to a new report from Navigant Research, revenue from microinverters and DC optimizers – collectively referred to as module-level power electronics (MLPE) – will grow from $308 million in 2013 to more than $1.9 billion in 2020.
The rapid acceleration in the deployment of solar PV systems has escalated the competition between MLPE manufacturers and incumbent inverter suppliers, according to the report. Instead of trying to fight microinverter manufacturers, larger technology suppliers, such as ABB, have joined the sector through acquisition. DC optimizer manufacturers, meanwhile, are growing rapidly and have partnered with module manufacturers to directly compete with microinverter companies in the residential segment and beyond – a trend that could shape the future of MLPEs and distributed solar, the Navigant report says.
‘The module-level power electronics sector has grown from a niche market to mainstream, especially in the United States, where there is fierce competition in major solar PV markets like California,’ says Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. ‘What's more, a growing number of solar PV module manufacturers are now integrating microinverters and DC optimizers at their own production plants. At the same time, large power electronics companies and incumbent manufacturers are making strategic partnerships and acquisitions to take advantage of rapid growth in this market segment.’
An executive summary of the report is available here.